Top Medical Mistakes – Part #2

This is post two in a two part blog series devoted to a recent article on CNN Health, ‘10 Shocking Medical Mistakes. This post goes over shocking mistakes six through ten. The original piece ties these mistakes to real-life instances of these errors – click here to see the personal stories in slideshow form on

Today we will look at (the last) five of the most common mistakes. The first five medical mistakes can be found here on our blog – Top Medical Mistakes – Part 1.

Mistake #6 – Air bubbles in the blood – When medical staff remove a chest tube, it is important that they seal the insertion point. If not, air bubbles can get sucked into the open wound and cause a disruption in blood supply to the lungs, heart, kidneys and/or brain. Left untreated this condition can be fatal. CNN suggests, if you have a chest tube as part of medical treatment, ask medical personnel how you should be positioned when they remove your chest tube. This will increase the odds that the procedure goes smoothly.

Mistake #7 – Operating in the wrong place – This mistake happens with a patient’s chart is incorrect, is misread or is obscured in the operating room. This can lead surgeons to cut into the wrong site on the body leading to a number of potential complications. The CNN article suggests checking with your nurse and surgeon that the surgery is going to be performed on the correct site on the body.

Mistake #8 – Inadvertent Infection – Cleanliness is imperative in the operating room. When doctors and nurses don’t properly wash their hands they can spread infections to patients. This can be especially dangerous to a patient with a compromised immune system. In extreme cases patients can die from this mistake. The article suggests asking doctors and hospital personnel whether they have washed their hands prior to them treating you.

Mistake #9 – Mistaken tubes – There are a number of different tubes used in different patient treatments. If hospital personnel mixes a chest tube and a feeding tube up, there can be serious complications. Medicine meant for the stomach can end up in the chest or vice versa. CNN’s suggestion is to ask staff to trace a tube back to the source so that mix-ups are avoided.

Mistake #10 – Waking up during surgery – Anesthetic dosage is specific to each patient. An overdose can cause problems and an underdose can cause a patient to wake up during surgery. In this case the brain is often awake when the muscles remain paralyzed. The patient can feel the surgeon cutting and prodding. The article suggests discussing your anesthetic options prior to surgery. A local anesthetic may be a better option.

Medical mistakes are tragic and can cause long term problems for affected patients. If you ever find yourself a victim of one of these indiscretions contact the Law Offices of James Morris immediately. We have valuable experience in medical malpractice lawsuits, and will give you the personal support that you deserve.

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