Saturday, September 24, 2011

Medical errors draw scrutiny at Nellis Air Force Base hospital. (With Video) Las Vegas, Nevada.

Las Vegas (NV) - There are serious allegations of errors made at the federal hospital on Nellis Air Force Base, and one of those errors proved fatal.

The hospital does more than 4,500 surgeries every year. It treats both veterans, and active-duty Air Force members. But after some alleged missteps, it's finding itself under fire.

Attorney Jacob Hafter, is taking the allegations against Mike O'Callaghan Federal Hospital, and making them public.

"There were a high frequency of mistakes in short amount of time," he says.

Hafter is representing a doctor at the Nellis Air Force Base medical facility, who claims to have been discriminated against, after speaking out about a string of mistakes made by physicians there.

"My client's livelihood and clinical privileges have been adversely affected, just because my client spoke-up about the missteps," Hafter says.

Hafter's client claims medical personnel at the hospital have made five preventable errors, since April. Including an incision made on the wrong side of a bone, a hearing device implanted in the wrong ear, wrong sites marked before surgeries, a wrong site blocked by an anesthesiologist, and a lacerated vein during a gall bladder surgery, which resulted in the patient's death.

On Monday September 19th, the hospital canceled all elective surgeries and non-life-threatening procedures, so doctors, nurses and other staff, could review the alleged accidents, and talk about preventing them.

Air Force officials defend the hospital's track record, saying every hospital in the country makes mistakes. According to a report by the Institute of Medicine, more than 44,000 to 98,000 people die in hospitals each year, because of medical errors that could have been prevented.

But, Hafter says what's happening at Nellis should raise a red flag.

"It may only be a wrong implant in an ear today, but what are we going to have tomorrow?" he asks. "I would hope the public starts asking what's going on at this hospital."

Attorney Jacob Hafter, is taking the allegations against Mike O'Callaghan Federal Hospital, and making them public.

"There were a high frequency of mistakes in short amount of time," he says.

Hafter is representing a doctor at the Nellis Air Force Base medical facility, who claims to have been discriminated against, after speaking out about a string of mistakes made by physicians there.

"My client's livelihood and clinical privileges have been adversely affected, just because my client spoke-up about the missteps," Hafter says.

Hafter's client claims medical personnel at the hospital have made five preventable errors, since April. Including an incision made on the wrong side of a bone, a hearing device implanted in the wrong ear, wrong sites marked before surgeries, a wrong site blocked by an anesthesiologist, and a lacerated vein during a gall bladder surgery, which resulted in the patient's death.

"It may only be a wrong implant in an ear today, but what are we going to have tomorrow?" Hafter asks. "I would hope the public starts asking what's going on at this hospital."

On Monday September 19th, the hospital canceled all elective surgeries and non-life-threatening procedures, and held a "stand-down." It was for doctors, nurses and other hospital staff, to reviewed the alleged mistakes, and talk about preventing them from ever happening again.

Air Force officials defend the hospital's track record, saying every hospital in the country makes mistakes. According to a report by the Institute of Medicine, more than 44,000 to 98,000 people die in hospitals each year, because of medical errors that could have been prevented.

Here is the official statement from Nellis Air Force Base:

The Mike O'Callaghan Federal Hospital is committed to patient safety. As a joint Air Force and Department of Veterans' Affairs medical facility, we perform almost five thousand surgeries per year. Protecting our patients' health and privacy is vital and a core priority for us.

To meet our safety objectives, we conducted a surgical safety stand-down on September 19th. Our medical staff took time in an open and honest discussion forum in order to continue to improve the quality of care we provide, and to further build on the patient safety culture we highly value. We took an unflinching look at our procedures and processes, both to identify areas we can do better and reinforce those we do well by ensuring our medical protocols continue to be followed.

We are committed to patient privacy. Although actual cases were discussed during our safety stand down, the public release of that information violates federal law. For this reason, we are unable to publicly discuss the details of any specific case.

We are fully committed to holding safety stand-downs and intend to conduct others in the future. These are positive events that we can all learn from and being able to speak freely at them is necessary. We remain committed to providing safety and privacy for our patients.

Watch Video: 
http://www.ktnv.com

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