In 2011, some widely used implantable heart defibrillators, designed to correct potentially fatal irregular heart rhythms, developed cracked insulation on their high-voltage electrical wires. The result was that in some cases they caused severe shocks, and even deaths.
If ever there were a statistic to make your heart stop, this is it: 1 out of every 3 patients who went to skilled nursing facilities after a hospital stay was harmed by his or her treatment. A study released this week by the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that this harm included infections and medication errors.
Few people like going to the dentist, even if those tooth-yankers do rate highly for honesty and ethics. At my most recent visit, I got a referral to the gum specialist ... again. Painful memories have slowed me from making the call, but healthy choppers are important, so I know I will.
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.
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.
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