Patient Falls Off OR Table: System Error?

An anesthetized patient fell to the floor headfirst from an operating room (OR) table during a laparoscopic appendectomy in Scotland. The table had been tilted into an extreme head-down position to facilitate the operation....

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Most Docs Practice Defensive Medicine

You may have missed this when it first appeared. Experts from Harvard and the University of Southern California say assumptions made by some analysts that defensive medicine is not an important facet of the high cost of...

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The “Second Victims” in Nursing

Tears rolled down my face as I came across an article written 2 years ago. A veteran pediatric nurse took her own life several months after administering a fatal overdose of an electrolyte to an infant. After investigations and...

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Unnecessary Pre-Op Tests & Evidence-Based Guidelines

Another paper on the subject of unnecessary preoperative laboratory testing appeared not long ago. A group from the University of Texas Medical Branch looked at more than 73,000 elective hernia repairs in the National Surgical...

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Jury Duty? I’ll Gladly Serve

Not long ago, I was called for jury duty. Although I was busy, I consider jury duty to be part of my civic responsibility and I did not try to avoid it. Well, another reason is that in my state, it is just about impossible to...

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Examining Standards of Care in Disasters

Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 in the United States, experts began to re-examine current approaches to providing care during disasters. A definitive standard of care for disaster victims has yet to emerge....

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The Truth About Lying to Patients

A recent survey published in Health Affairs found that 20% of nearly 2,000 physician respondents said that “they had not fully disclosed mistakes to patients for fear of being sued” in the past year. When I first heard about...

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