Before starting this course and before reading the first section of Wall of silence: The untold story of the medical mistakes that kill and injure millions of Americans, I did not have much awareness of medical errors. My awareness extends to hearing stories about medical utensils and supplies being left in patients after surgery or hearing stories of patient receiving the wrong dose of medication, but hearing stories about the extent of deaths related to medical errors left me astonished. I was in awe reading the amount of deaths reported each year related to medical errors, not including the errors that are not reported. This book brings about the awareness and importance of implementing strategies to decrease medical errors.
Overview of Case: Lewis
Lewis is a fifteen year-old student who is top of his class. He was well rounded student, a prize winning mathematician, a writer for the local newspaper, and an experience actor. Lewis was born with a congenital deformity called pectus excavatum. The sternum and rib cage grow abnormally and produces a caved in appearance of the chest. Lewis’s parents saw an article advertising a new procedure to help correct the defect. After researching the surgeon, an appointment was made and soon after Lewis was admitted for surgery. The recovery of Lewis’s surgery was longer than his family and he expected. Three days after the surgery, Lewis experienced severe pain in his abdomen. Complaint after complaint, the healthcare providers shrugged it off and said it was gas pain. Painkillers were given to help the pain but the underlying symptoms were still present. The results of the labs and vitals showed signs of critical blood loss. The next morning Lewis’s pain...
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...ted is first the bar code label rule in 2002. The FDA requires bar code labels on drugs and healthcare professionals are responsible to use scanning equipment to ensure the right drug, right route, right patient, and right time. The second strategy is to minimize the confusion between drug names. Each year the FDA reviews about 300 drug names from new companies and about one-third of the those names are rejected, due to possible name confusion. Lastly, drug labeling, the FDA requires a standard drug label stating drug facts on more than 100,000 over the counter drugs. The drug facts listed are active ingredients, uses, warnings, dosage, directions, and other information. These policies are important in ensuring patient safety and it is the responsibility of the healthcare professional to uphold them ( Medication Errors: Working to Improve Medication Safety", 2015).
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