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Medical Errors

Medical Errors

Wrong surgery, wrong medication, serious bedsores… Unsafe practices and poor quality care kill more than 440,000 patients each year and waste billions of dollars every year. What information do you have about the safety of your hospital? What protections do you have if the hospital makes a mistake with you?

Consumers Union Documents

Consumers Union News Releases

Blog Posts

  • A Tragic Reminder How Fragile Life Is

    Kim Witczak, member of the Safe Patient Project activist network, writes a personal tribute to her good friend, Karen Langhart, who was an advocate on the dangers of Nuvaring and other 3rd generation hormonal birth controls that have been linked to the death of her daughter and countless other women. Karen was also a member of the Safe Patient Project network.

  • There are no conflicts of interest for a pilot

    David Antoon, Safe Patient Project activist network member and retired pilot argues that errors in health care are not treated like errors in aviation.

  • Art & Patient Safety Awareness: What does Patient Safety Mean to You?

    Guest post by Rex Johnson and Yanling Yu, Founders of Washington Advocates for Patient Safety. On August 15, WAPS organized a booth at the Woodinville Festival and Street Fair in Seattle to raise awareness about medical harm. It was a big success!

  • “Mom, You Have to Trust Me”: Safe Patient Activist Published by JAMA Internal Medicine

    Mary Brennan-Taylor, an activist with the Safe Patient Project since the tragic death of her mother in 2009, has just had an article published by JAMA Internal Medicine, wherein she details in a powerful narrative the sequence of events that took her mother’s life.

  • Real Stories: What One Medical Error Did To My Daughter

    Read how one medical error changed a young woman’s life forever.

News Articles

  • Six local hospitals fined for preventable infections (San Diego)
    Source: The San Diego Union Tribune (Saturday December 26, 2015)

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services penalizes under-performing hospitals. In the case of the acquired-conditions program that includes infections, it docks Medicare reimbursements by 1 percent for hospitals whose rankings are in the worst 25 percent nationally.

  • Deadly and hidden mistakes: Hospital error reports often elude the public
    Source: Orange County Register (Tuesday December 1, 2015)

    “Inspectors don’t send out a news release and say, ‘We just inspected this hospital and this is what we found.’ In a perfect world, that would happen. They work for us. We depend on them,” Consumers Union’s McGiffert said.

  • It pays to read the warnings when you open up a prescription
    Source: Wash. Post (Monday August 3, 2015)

    Barbara Odanaka was hospitalized with pneumonia and was prescribed levofloxacin, an antibiotic in the fluoroquinolone drug class. She was not told about fluoroquinolone toxicity, a disorder of the musculoskeletal system.

  • Perspective: Less is More
    Source: NEJM (Tuesday July 28, 2015)

    Mary Brennen-Taylor recounts the events that led to her mother’s death, starting with medication that is potentially dangerous to older adults.

  • Push for Cameras in the Operating Room
    Source: Washington Post (Wednesday June 24, 2015)

    “A movement is afoot to put cameras in operating rooms around the country, after a woman died from an anesthesia overdose.”

Research and Reports