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July 2013 Archives

Unsafe medical practices may be all too common in Kentucky

The founder of HONOReform, a national advocacy group dedicated to ensure injection practices are followed in medical facilities, knows firsthand the devastating effects of unsafe injection practices. In 2001, she contracted hepatitis C while she underwent chemotherapy to fight her breast cancer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) along with her state's health department investigated how she contracted the disease. What they uncovered was startling.

The serious mistakes hospitals make and would rather not discuss

Kentucky readers may take an interest in the issue of serious hospital errors and the efforts of non-profits and advocacy groups to make hospital safety records public information. One such non-profit, The Leapfrog Group, represents employers and other healthcare purchasers. They have compiled a list of the most serious mistakes that hospitals make, mistakes that they call never events, meaning that these hospital errors should never happen. According to a study conducted by Johns Hopkins University, some of the most serious events take place approximately 11 times every day. When all events on the list are accounted for, both surgical and non-surgical, they occur around 200 times per day to Medicare beneficiaries alone.

Quality care not a given in hospitals

Kentucky residents may not be aware of the high number of patients who are subjected to medical errors or who experience issues with their healthcare. A study of nonfatal errors conducted by researchers at the Harvard School of Medicine found that almost one in five patients are harmed in some way during the course of their hospital care. The number may be larger since some patients might not report medical mistakes or quality problems with their care.

New device lowers risk of infant injury during c-sections

Pregnant woman in Kentucky might be interested to learn of a a new medical device that makes c-section deliveries safer by preventing injuries to infants. Fetal lacerations are a common risk with c-sections. Although most fetal lacerations do not result in serious injury, some can be devastating, resulting in amputations or scarring. A new device called C SAFE allows the initial incision to be made with a blunt piece of plastic, with the blade then facing up for the procedure and never coming in contact with the infant.

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