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Tubing connection mistakes most commonly occur when a hospital employee connects a catheter or tube to a wrong port or device. Misconnection of tubing used to link patients to medical equipment has the potential to result in serious injury.
Medical devices used in hospitals are designed so they have the ability to connect to related tubing and accessories, with many connectors or luer locks being a standard size and the same size as a broad range of medical equipment used for different functions.
A Montgomery County jury has awarded $5.1 million for a woman who suffered severe injuries after a medication error caused her to be injected with a concentrated decongestant instead of a local anesthetic before routine sinus surgery. Even after discovering the medication error during the June 2010 procedure on Jacqueline Ditore, of Hatboro, her doctor did not immediately terminate the operation and complications arose as a result.
Brain injuries and death can result when nurses or other hospital staff fail to respond in a timely manner to alarms sounding in patient rooms. According to the Joint Commission Sentinel Event Alert database, 98 alarm-related events were reported between January 2008 and June 2012, with dire consequences resulting in almost every instance. Death occurred in 82 percent of those reported cases and most of the remaining patients suffered permanent loss of function.
The number of robot-assisted surgeries in U.S. hospitals has jumped 60 percent in just two years. In 2012, approximately 350,000 robotic surgeries were performed for procedures including hysterectomies, prostate surgery, gallbladder removal and heart valve repairs.
Infusion pumps are medical devices used in hospitals to deliver IV nutrients, medications, antibiotics, chemotherapy drugs, pain medicine, insulin, patient-controlled analgesia, or PCA. The pumps are designed to administer a certain amount of fluid or medicine over a period of time. Even though they are intended to make patients more comfortable, pump malfunction or medication errors can occur.
A recent case in Oregon shows just how absurd caps on personal injury verdicts can be. The case in which a jury returned a unanimous $12 million verdict involved a nine-month-old boy who underwent liver surgery at Oregon Health and Science University in 2009. During the procedure the surgeon cut vessels on the left side of the infant’s liver, causing severe damage that nearly killed the child and caused him to undergo seven more major surgeries, including a liver transplant.
A St. Louis jury awarded a family more than $10.8M in damages in a recent medical negligence case that resulted in the death of a young mother of three, according to a news report by St. Louis Today. Shannon Dodson, 34, died after a routine catheterization procedure at The Mercy Heart and Vascular Hospital in 2011.
The recent Early Sepsis Prophylaxis Study determined that using four clinical goals in emergency rooms reduced the death rate in sepsis patients. The study, by medical staff at North Shore University Hospital and Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New York, listed the sepsis bundle emergency room treatment as:
An Allentown, Pennsylvania obstetrician continued with a natural childbirth despite complications which caused a newborn to be deprived of oxygen for more than three minutes. Chloe McCarthy, now four years old, suffered cerebral palsy and other neurological disorders stemming from the birth injury.
A rare but fatal medication error can occur when the cancer drug vincristine is administered improperly. Vincristine is often ordered to treat various types of cancer, including childhood leukemia. It is often administered along with methotrexate.