Four years ago, a young woman lost her father to an infection he contracted while in Rhode Island Hospital for esophageal cancer. Now that young woman wants to spread the word about the dangers of hospital infections and specifically the condition known as sepsis. Her father died after going into septic shock twice, the second time proved fatal. The family was told by doctors that the man beat the cancer and had a new lease on life. Doctors recommended the 48-year-old man undergo surgery to remove the part of his esophagus that had been infected by the cancer.
Rhode Island residents who have undergone surgery or know someone who has may be interested in this latest study which claims that post-op patients recovering from surgery should expect upwards of four or five medical procedural mistakes during their hospital recovery. And even more alarming - half of the mistakes have the potential to cause them serious harm. Although the study was not conducted in the United States, one U.S. doctor who specializes in patient safety said the study's findings are symbolic of what transpires in teaching hospitals in the U.S.
Some hospitals devote a tremendous amount of time and resources to prevent medical errors and improve the overall quality of patient care. However, others appear to be more negligent when it comes to ensuring patient safety. A new report of hospital safety rankings suggests that the importance of patient safety can vary greatly from state to state.
After completing medical school, new doctors begin their careers in medicine by completing a medical residency in which they work unimaginably grueling hours under the supervision of other licensed physicians. In 2011, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, known as ACGME, changed the restrictions placed upon medical residents' work hours. However, the implications of the new changes have been debated among those in the medical profession.
A new study from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) found that medical errors happen to one of every seven hospitalized patients on Medicare. These medical mistakes cost the federal government over $4.4 billion and cause about 180,000 patient deaths each year - many deaths that could be prevented.
Rhode Island Hospital has been fined $300,000 for a surgical error that left a piece of broken drill bit in a patient's skull. The Rhode Island Department of Health has twice previously fined the hospital, but this is the largest fine it has received thus far.