Posted: February 26, 2014

The list of the Top 10 medical technology safety hazards was published in the November 2013 issue of Health Devices.  Alarm problems and infusion pump medications errors are on the top of the list of hospital problems that need to be addressed.  According to the article, the most prevalent medical technology safety hazards are:

Alarm Hazards

Alarm fatigue: silencing an alarm and setting abnormal alarm limits can cause permanent injury and death in patients.

Infusion Pump Medication Errors

Medications infused too fast or not fast enough can cause life-threatening complications

CT Radiation Exposures in Pediatric Patients

Pediatric patients or children are sensitive to radiation overdose. The risk can be lessened by using traditional x-ray, ultrasound or MRI when indicated.  Repeat unnecessary testing should be avoided. 

Electronic Medical Record Errors

Electronic medical records or other IT hospital based systems should provide complete, current and accurate medical information. That information must carry over when a patient is transferred from an emergency room to other hospital units.

Occupational Radiation Hazards

When radiation is used in hybrid operating rooms it can expose operating room staff to excessive radiation doses because the surgical staff is not as familiar with the dangers as experienced staff in a radiology department. 

Inadequate Reprocessing or Sterilization of Endoscopes and Surgical Instruments

Surgical instruments and endoscopes have a potential to spread diseases such as hepatitis C, HIV, and tuberculosis if not properly cleaned and sterilized in between patients.

Neglecting to Upgrade or Update All Medical Devices

An upgrade, update or modification made to one medical device can have unintended or failed effects on other related devices or systems. If changes or modifications are made to one device it must be checked to make sure it is compatible with other medical equipment.

Pediatric Patients Being Treated with Adult Technology

Pediatric patients are not little adults. To prevent false readings, medication errors or inadequate treatment, it is imperative that medical devices specifically designed for pediatric patients are used.

Robotic Surgery Complications Due to Inadequate Physician Training

Robotic surgery can lead to organs being burned or damaged due to a doctor not being properly trained on how to handle or troubleshoot a robotic device.

Retained Medical Devices and Surgical Instruments

A retained surgical item or medical instrument can lead to organ damage, infection or death.

If you or a family member were injured due to a mistake in a hospital you may want to contact an experienced medical malpractice law firm near you that has doctor lawyers on staff for more information.