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New efforts failing to prevent wrong-site nerve blocks

New efforts failing to prevent wrong-site nerve blocks

Anyone who has had surgery, in Illinois or elsewhere, can understand the importance of good anesthesiology. A nerve block done correctly will provide comfort to an area that would otherwise be traumatized. However, done incorrectly, nerve blocks can result in temporary or permanent nerve damage. Unfortunately, the incidence of this type of medical negligence is much higher than experts would like.

Some feel that these types of mistakes should have a zero occurrence rate, but that’s simply not the case. In an effort to reduce the incidence of these errors, one medical center implemented new policies. The incidence rate was cut in half but not eliminated as some had hoped. In most cases, errors occurred as a result of not following approved policy.

In a study conducted at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, 10 years’ worth of case history was studied. Slightly more than one wrong-site nerve block occurred for every 10,000 procedures performed. Given the cost to both the patient and the medical system for these types of errors, it’s easy to see why experts feel that these numbers are too high.

The integration of training programs to go along with the new policies may reduce the rate of incidents even more, but that rate means nothing to those who have suffered a wrong-site nerve block. Anyone who has been injured as a result of medical negligence or doctor errors may choose to consult with an attorney. An attorney may be able to help them to pursue a settlement for compensation for their injuries.

 

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