Oopsie Daisy

I’ve talked about wrong side surgeries in Rhode Island, operating room fires, and people walking around for 25 years with surgical towels still inside them. So I shouldn’t be shocked and appalled to learn that California hospitals make a lot of mistakes, but I am.

Maybe it’s not the number of mistakes, although 1002 oopses serious enough to report in one state over 10 months is a lot, I would think. I think maybe it’s the type of thing that is labeled as a mistake. Their list of things they call mistakes is the following:

  • deaths during labor,
  • medication errors,
  • suicide attempts
  • and sexual assaults.

The first two are for sure mistakes. What about the second two? How is a suicide attempt a mistake? Did a staff member mistakenly help a patient construct something with which to hang himself? And how do you sexually assault someone by mistake. Maybe you can claim that you were as blind as Eric Kennedy and mistook the patient for your girlfriend who you thought had snuck into that bed. But otherwise, how is that a mistake?

I love this explanation for why some of these things happen.

Debby Rogers, the vice president for quality and emergency services at the California Hospital Assn, said someone with a fractured neck might develop a pressure sore while resting on a backboard awaiting surgery. Treating the sore would require moving the patient, potentially paralyzing them by exacerbating the fracture, she said.

How long are they waiting for surgery? The sores that were described in this article sounded like they would have taken some time to form.

All I can say is by the sounds of it, thank god my knee didn’t get more care than it got when I was down there.

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