By Joe Messa
The Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority has reported that there were 47 total surgical errors— surgeries either performed at the wrong site or on the wrong patient—for the 2011-2012 academic year. The agency seeks to reduce that number citing safety procedures that hospitals have begun adopting and implementing. The average number of surgical errors in Pennsylvania during a 12-month period is 63 according to data collected by the Patient Safety Authority. The group has been tracking the figures since 2004.
While safeguards such as pre-surgical checklists and enhanced training have been put into place to help prevent surgical errors, industry experts say they are still occurring in hospitals and physician offices across the country. Pennsylvania reports indicate that there is about one surgical mistake per 100,000 procedures. In many cases, these preventable medical errors lead to severe, catastrophic injuries or death.
Safety procedures are critical in helping to increase patient safety and decrease medical errors. It is estimated that about 195,000 Americans die every year as a result of preventable errors and medical errors have consistently been ranked among the top ten leading causes of death in the U.S.
As of March, nearly 60 Pennsylvania hospitals reported to the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority they had put efforts into place to reduce medical errors. At the time, 49 of the reporting facilities had collaborated with the agency on their efforts.
The programs being implemented vary depending on the hospital but the facilities who have them report a decrease in errors. Under the collaboration with the Patient Safety Authority, the hospitals adopt 21 principles designed to remind employees of small details that seem like common sense but are often forgotten or overlooked. The principles include: specifying the correct site when the procedure is scheduled, asking the patient to identify the surgical site and physically marking the site on the patient before the procedure is performed.
The Philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys at Messa & Associates are experienced at handling cases involving medical malpractice cases resulting from medical errors. Our extremely skilled team of medical malpractice attorneys and medical experts is dedicated to ensuring you receive proper compensation for your personal injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered personal injuries as a result of a medical error or any other type of negligent care received by a medical provider, contact the medical malpractice attorneys of Messa & Associates for a free consultation. Call toll free at 1-877-MessaLaw, or submit a free online inquiry.
Joseph L. Messa, Jr. is the founding partner of Messa & Associates, P.C. He is an AV-rated attorney (highest rating available), listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers. Read More