As a story in the Aurora Sentinel reports, of the 27,370 incidents in the database, the study found 25 surgeries were performed on the wrong patient and 107 operations on the wrong body part. About one-fourth of those operations inflicted “significant harm” on a patient, according to the study’s investigators, and one person died. That patient suffered acute respiratory failure after a chest tube was placed on the incorrect side, the study said.
Physicians, hospitals, researchers, federal and state governments and others have been working on ways to prevent these incidents of medical malpractice. The medical industry even has a name for them: never-events. As in, removing the wrong leg is an event that should never happen. Their preventive efforts have helped some, but there’s no reason never-events should happen at all.
One Colorado legislator wants the state to do something about it. Rep. Morgan Carroll, D-Aurora, says the legislature should pass a law to combat those types of medical errors – starting with eliminating the damages caps against a hospital or physician for medical malpractice.
I second that. If we remove the legal shield bad providers have been hiding behind and make them fully responsible for the damage they do to somebody, maybe they’ll be more careful about how they operate – and on whom.