Most medical errors are preventable. Some experts go the extra mile of pointing out that all medical errors are preventable. There is some truth in this, but medical professionals are humans and human error surfaces in any profession. What makes it most dangerous in health care is that it often results in the loss of limb or life.
Forbes estimates that medical errors are actually on the rise. Another possible explanation for the rise in numbers is that more people are questioning whether health care providers are responsible and reporting them for negligence. A few years ago, a study estimated that 250,000 had died in hospitals for preventable reasons. More than 25 years ago, this number was only 98,000.
When it comes to matters of the heart, the consequences are even more severe. A study published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine tried to find the connections between mismanaging cardiac arrests and resulting cases of death. They identified the following problems:
- Inadequacies in the staff that tended to the victim
- Miscommunication regarding the crash number
- Poor application of skills and knowledge
- Problems with the equipment
These and other factors contributed to the mismanagement of one of the most dangerous medical emergencies a person can experience. Even when people do not pass away, they may face disabilities for the rest of their lives tied to a weakened heart or even unrelated medical errors committed during the process of tending to them.
The study believes that a hospital’s ability to effectively tend to someone suffering from cardiac arrest should be a marker of a top tier health care facility. Most people might agree that this is true.