We've blogged on several occasions about preventable medical mistakes injuring and killing thousands of people every year (See here and here). These errors are often referred to as "never" events because they "never" should happen. But as Pop Tort readers know all too well, these egregious errors occur more frequently than you would think.
New data from California's state health department shows about 100 California patients per month are being harmed by these incidents. From a Los Angeles Times story today:
Last October, a technician at the children's hospital at Stanford University improperly connected a ventilator hose, accidentally pumping too little oxygen into a 9-day-old infant's lungs.
A month later, technicians at Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz unintentionally placed a CT scan of one patient into the electronic file of another, leading physicians to remove the wrong person’s appendix.
Last March, Virginia Fahres, 76, died at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center in Pomona after a nurse gave her two drugs, neither of which her doctor had prescribed.(Click here for the entire article)
But California needs to do more. They need to repeal the state's horrendous $250,000 med mal cap, which severely limits hospitals' liability in such cases and is obviously making them less safe, continuing to put more and more patients at risk. (See our post on actor Dennis Quaid's incredible testimony before Congress)