Doctor's license is suspended after patients' illnesses were found to be connected
According to University of Minnesota study from last month, the spread of antibiotic-resistant "superbugs" in medical facilities across the nation could be due to contamination of medical devices. Duodenoscopes, which are used to examine the small intestine during common procedures, have left dangerous bacteria behind in cases even after cleaning and sterilization. There are an estimated 700,000 uses of the device in procedures every year.
At the conclusion of the Patient Safety Summit earlier this month, a wide range of political and safety advocates spoke up in support of the goal to eliminate all preventable medical errors by the year 2020. Recent estimates have suggested that more than 400,000 people die each year as a result of such errors, so reducing them to zero is a laudable goal. But is it a realistic one?
Most people are under the impression that preventing medical errors is a problem for the medical industry. Doctors, nurses, emergency medical personnel and hospitals should take whatever steps are necessary to reduce or eliminate the potential for errors. That is true, but it is little comfort to the many patients and family members who are victimized by medical negligence every year. There are steps that patients and their families can take to reduce the potential for harm.