Medical Errors

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This aim of this research review paper is to discuss the various types, causes and cost for medical errors. After reading this paper, the reader should be able to realize the importance of understanding the know how of medical errors and also understand how various interventions can be used effectively to prevent such errors. The paper also aims to stimulate critical thinking in terms of awareness about medical errors. I have worked in the critical care field for eight years in the past and have been a part of policy implementation with regards to medical errors. Most of the thoughts discussed in this paper are research-based, however, a few are from my personal and professional experiences working in the intensive care field.
Causes of Medical Errors
A. Diagnostic
1. Error or delay in diagnosis
 Failure to diagnose an ectopic pregnancy causing rupture and possible acute abdomen. The reason could be either because the obstetrician did not feel the need to order an ultrasound thinking the mild complain of pain to be insignificant to warrant an ultrasound or on the other hand, the radiologist fails to identify an ectopic pregnancy while performing an ultrasound, either due to incompetency or due to negligence.
2. Failure to employ indicated tests
 Failure to check blood glucose levels for a known hypertensive patient who presented with altered or loss of consciousness. Delayed checking of blood sugar was found to be 20mg/dl]
3. Use of outmoded tests or therapy
 Administering a thrombolytic therapy for a Myocardial infarction patient who presented within 12 hours while Percutaneous trans coronary intervention facility is also available in the hospital.
4. Failure to act on results of monitoring or testing
 Failure to immediately administer antibiotics to patient suspected with bacterial meningitis.

Cost of Medical Errors…...

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