08192017Headline:

Jersey City, New Jersey

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Ricky Bagolie
Ricky Bagolie
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Malpractice Reported in New Jersey Hospitals

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New Jersey’s new medical mistake reporting system does not release the names of the hospitals, doctors or nurses involved in any of the mistakes to the public. Despite objections, New Jersey health officials said they believe confidentiality encourages health care workers to speak openly and share what they have learned from their mistakes with other hospitals. Critics say that open investigations are necessary to create real and lasting change.

As reported in New Jersey’s Star Ledger

A pediatric patient suffering from seizures nearly died from a massive overdose of phenobarbital.

A patient did die when the “stop” button on the IV pump failed to work properly.

A nurse on the phone to a surgeon in a noisy operating room could not hear the instructions clearly and delivered a fatal overdose of pain medication.

A patient burned in the operating room by a laser that misfired while the wand rested on the patient’s abdomen.

New heart monitors with a pleasant, musical alarm were ignored by hospital staff — even as a patient suffered a fatal heart arrhythmia.

These incidents and other examples of the very worst that can happen in New Jersey hospitals have emerged a year after the state began a new confidential reporting system of serious and preventable “adverse events.”

Is having a confidential reporting really the best way to help stop medical errors? Doubtful. Secrecy will never lead to the kind of change that will really reduce the number of needless deaths and injuries which occur as a result of medical malpractice and mistakes.