Readers in Houston, Texas, who have undergone surgery or are thinking about it should take note of a recent study performed by researchers at Johns Hopkins University. The study estimates that 39 times a week, a surgeon leaves a foreign object such as surgical equipment left inside a patient after an operation. It also estimates that 20 times a week a surgeon performs the wrong procedure on a patient and operates on the wrong part of the body 20 times a week, as well.
Houston readers may be interested in a recent medical malpractice verdict in Alabama. The case involved a medication dosage error which resulted in a woman's death. In what may be a sign of our times, the woman may not have died if the hospital had not outsourced its medical transcription services to India.
When a patient goes to see a doctor, the patient expects the best and most competent care. This is a realistic expectation for patients throughout the country, including in Texas. However, most of our readers have probably seen news stories from time to time about a negligent physician who was responsible for some type of doctor error, and those news stories usually end with the patient in a worsened condition. That is the allegation in one case out of Jefferson County, where a woman has claimed that her doctor's failure to recognize her breast cancer and treat it properly led her to suffer personal damages.
Good news for hospital patients in Houston and elsewhere. A recent project by seven big hospitals across the country has reduced surgery-linked infections by almost one-third. These types of surgical errors can cost hospitals millions of dollars.