In Surgery, Failing ‘No Sponge Left Behind’

Here’s a scary statistic: A surgeon in the U.S. leaves a foreign object, such as a sponge or towel, inside a patient’s body after an operation 39 times a week. Even scarier, surgeons perform the wrong procedure on a patient 20 times a week and operate on the wrong body site 20 times a week, according to an analysis of national malpractice claims by patient-safety researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Researchers also found that patients 60 or older …

ICU Patients: Twice As Likely to Suffer Fatal Misdiagnosis

You would think that patients in a hospital’s intensive care unit would be the least likely to worsen or die simply because someone misdiagnosed their condition. Unfortunately, you would be wrong, say patient safety experts with Johns Hopkins University in a new study. Despite all the tests and close monitoring of ICU patients, researchers found that these patients face twice the risk of a fatal diagnostic error as compared with adult hospital patients overall. In fact, as many as 40,500 …