A few years ago, the National Quality Forum, published a list of 28 medical errors that should never occur, primarily because they are completely preventable medical errors that lead to medical malpractice. Some of these “never” medical errors include surgical errors such as operating on the wrong body part or operating on the wrong patient. Another surgical error that should never occur concerns leaving a surgical instrument or other type of foreign object in a patient after surgery. The National Quality Forum lists other medical errors such as the use of contaminated drugs, prescribing the wrong drugs, dosage errors, and malfunctioning medical equipment.
While these errors are listed as events that should never occur, they do happen with alarming frequency. In some instances, the harmed patient is never told about the error. In many cases, this causes further complications and serious health risks including further surgeries to repair the error, prolonged hospitalization, and even death. There are established protocols in place so that these types of errors never occur. If the protocols are ignored or not properly implemented, the patient suffers. The goal of healthcare should be first and foremost patient safety.
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