World’s most unwanted settings!
People consider doctors as next to God. But do not forget they are just human beings and they can make mistakes unwittingly. Today it is no longer a secret that medical errors are one of the leading causes of death throughout the world. According to a critical care physician at Johns Hopkins Hospital, a quarter million people die every year due to physician error, they are so prevalent that if you were to add them all up, they most likely would be at least the number three cause on the death list. But the sad part is that a lot of them are preventable. Patients and their attendants can try to prevent them by asking the following questions specially before a procedure.
If your identity gets mixed up with someone else's, you can get the wrong medication or even the wrong surgery. In our country most of the hospitals do not provide patients a wristband with their name, date of birth and a unique code. Make sure this is checked and verified before every medical procedure.
Surgical tools or other objects are left inside patients after surgery far more often than we could think. This is often the result of surgical staff failing to count or miscounting small equipment or swabs during and after the procedure. Unexpected pain, fever and swelling after surgery are all indications that one could might have a surgical tool still inside. This is just not happening in our country but everywhere. One study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that about 1,500 Americans have objects left inside of them following surgery every year. Incidents involving clamps, retractor and other objects have also been reported. Researchers have found that if you have an emergency surgery, probability of being impacted by an object left behind is much higher.
The term 'golden hour' is also applicable in case of surgeries. Sometimes emergency patients are waiting so much that the crucial waiting time can be the difference between life and death, loss of limbs, eyes or something valuable. Something similar happened to Malyia Jeffers, a 2 year old child who went through amputation of her limbs as she was not attended by the doctors in time.
If the hole in your chest is not sealed (made airtight) correctly after a chest tube is removed, air bubbles can enter the wound and cut off blood supply to your lungs, heart, kidneys and brain - a life threatening event. Before having a chest tube removed, ask the duty doctor or expert nurse how you should be positioned to avoid air bubbles and make sure the hole will be sealed airtight.
If you are undergoing surgery, make sure you confirm with the surgeon, his assistant/s and nurses that they have the correct body location on where to operate - and if any marks are drawn to indicate the area, make sure they are in the proper location.
Hospital acquired infections are alarmingly universal, in some places it is increasing and sadly they are often deadly. In the United States, a huge 100,000 people die as a result of this infection each year. Our 'infection control team' needs to be more educated and smart. It is an unthinkable killer general people are not aware of. The saddest part is, most of these cases could likely have been easily prevented with better infection control in hospitals, for example, simple routine such as doctors, nurses and other health care providers washing their hands before handling each patient can make a big difference.
There have been cases reported where a spinal anaesthetic used for pain relief was mistakenly put into a vein which is life threatening. A healthy young pregnant woman and her unborn daughter died after a feeding tube was mistakenly connected to an intravenous line, sending liquid food directly into her veins - This could have been easily avoided. Most of the hospital are suffering from shortage of nurses or nursing assistants; either nurses often work overtime or covering too many patients at once, it is all too easy to connect a tube improperly, leading to an often fatal outcome for the patient.
You may hear lot of sad but true stories related to unskilled or unmindful anaesthesiologists. Although this discipline is now much safer than ever before. So never forget to talk to the anaesthesiologist before any surgical procedure.
Last but not the least is misdiagnosis, which can be fatal for you. So please always go for a second opinion. Do not hesitate, a wise doctor should appreciate this. Remember, doctors are also human beings, they can make mistakes.