Tuesday, October 27, 2015

What happens when you are sleeping

I think we should all be allowed to have an independent person in the OR while we are undergoing surgery if this is any indiciation:

"About half of all surgeries involve some kind of medication error or unintended drug side effects, if a study done at one of America’s most prestigious academic medical centers is any indication."

That is just plain scary. You go for surgery and then you have a 50% chance of medication error or unintended side effect. That is not good.

"“There is a substantial potential for medication-related harm and a number of opportunities to improve safety,” according to the study, published in the journal Anesthesiology. More than one-third of the observed errors led to some kind of harm to the patient."

But these numbers are pretty real. A recent study was done at Massachusetts General Hospital by observers. Previous studies showed much lower numbers but those were self reported by doctors.

"Drugs delivered during an operation don’t have the same safeguards other medication orders do. In most parts of a hospital, prescriptions are double-checked by pharmacists and nurses before they reach a patient. Operating wards are riskier. “In the operating room, things happen very rapidly, and patients’ conditions change quickly, so we don’t have time to go through that whole process, which can take hours,” Nanji said. While all the errors observed in the study had the potential to cause harm, only three were considered life-threatening, and no patients died because of mistakes, Nanji said. In some cases, the harm lay in a change in vital signs or an elevated risk of infection."

A few more thoughts:

"Not every mistake meant the patient got the wrong drug or an incorrect dose. For example, many errors had to do with properly labeling drugs when they’re drawn into syringes for delivery. Because most medications just look like clear liquids, having several prepared without labeling them poses a risk that the wrong one could be delivered. Those breaches in protocol were counted as errors. In about one-fifth of the problems, adverse drug reactions were considered unavoidable — for example, if a patient had a drug allergy that doctors didn’t know about ahead of time.  The study found that some kind of error was made in about one in every 20 drug administrations. Several medications are typically used in each operation, from anesthesia to antibiotics, so that rate translated into some kind of error or adverse reaction in every other surgery. Operations that lasted more than six hours were more likely to involve an error than shorter procedures."

Okay, I'm good with no more surgeries, thanks.

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