The Houston Chronicle reports, “Allowing the public to see information about mishaps and errors that occur during a patient’s hospital stay has been a contentious issue for hospital personnel, who believe the public could misread it.” Two reports released this month by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are the “first to look strictly at how many times bedsores, surgical errors and falls and trauma, for example, occur among Medicare patients.” The most common hospital-contracted “malady among older patients in Houston is systemic vascular infections, a problem often caused by unsanitary or improper procedures during their hospital stay.” Among 46 hospitals “within a 50-mile radius of the city of Houston, half reported vascular infections in Medicare patients through catheters, the tubing used for various procedures.”
The Fort Worth (TX) Star-Telegram reports, “At Baylor Surgical Hospital at Fort Worth after surgery in 2008,” a 67-year-old woman with gangrene, who was “disoriented and on pain medications, called for help,” but nurses failed to respond, according to a lawsuit filed in state district court in Fort Worth. The suit alleges, “Edna Faye Smith fell from bed and broke her leg and ankle. When nurses placed her back on the bed, an audible ‘pop’ came from the right ankle to the foot,” and Smith required more surgery. Notably, the CMS’ “information on so-called hospital-acquired” conditions, which “Baylor disputes as flawed,” shows the hospital’s “rate of falls and trauma was about nine times the national rate per 1,000 patients discharged.”
From the American Association for Justice news release.