This health video looks into hospital safety and how to improve it, part 1/3.
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Jacqueline Imbertson: I never imagined in a few months after that there wouldn't be another trouble Jennifer Matthews: In the last three years Jacqueline's husband Ed has endured more than 40 surgeries. The result she says of medical negligence after a standard heart procedure. Jacqueline Imbertson: Bag had not been checked in supply, had not been against the chart, was not checked when it was hung, was not checked when it was administered, it wasn't Hespan, it was an entire bag of Lidocaine, which put him into a profound cardiac arrest. Jennifer Matthews: Although Ed claims to life and Institute of Medicine Study says as many as 98,000 people die each year for medical mistakes. Medical Sociologist Marilynn Rosenthal points to four contributing factors. First there is the complexity of the patient's condition. Second, she says doctors only agree on about 40% of medical treatments. Marilynn Rosenthal: Now that leaves a lot of medicine that is relatively uncertain. Jennifer Matthews: Then there is the hospital itself which conducts so many high risk procedures. And what about fatigue? Residents can lob as many as 140 hours a week. Dr. Schenkel: I doubt there is any resident who hasn't gone -- who hasn't left after call and said, Gee! I really wasn't functioning. Jennifer Matthews: Research shows being away for 24 hours is in some ways equivalent to a blood-alcohol level of 0.1, legally drunk in all states. To address the issue as of July 2003, the Residency Program Accrediting Group plans to limit most residents to 80 hours a week and 24 hour shifts. Well, these changes results in better care, Dr. Schenkel has his doubts. Dr. Schenkel: I think there is a distinct dividing line where fatigue leading to mistakes is a trade-off with hand-offs leading to mistakes. Jennifer Matthews: The second change involves another risk to patients. Impaired and disruptive physicians. 92% of nurses say they witness negative behavior that impacts patient care. Female Speaker: He began to yell and say how stupid everyone was and how -- you know that we were going to kill someone. Jennifer Matthews: Psychotherapist David Becker says those behaviors are risky and are not unusual. David Becker: Between 15-23% of physicians at any given time are struggling with the personal and professional life crisis to the extent that it affects their ability to provide care. Jennifer Matthews: Becker speaks to medical groups about the issue and let them know about a 2002 mandate that ensures help is available. David Becker: Every hospital, and there are roughly 6000 in the country, are required to have something for when a physician is stressing or there is an 2:41 stress. Jennifer Matthews: As more changes are put into effect, Jacqueline's prayer is that fewer families will go through what hers has. Jacqueline Imbertson: His life as at that moment was completely changed, it will never be the same. Jennifer Matthews: This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.