Shocking Medical Mistakes

Medical mistakes and the people whose lives have been changed forever because of them.

Did you know that more than 200,000 people die every year because of avoidable mistakes in operating rooms, hospitals and doctors’ offices? Or that thousands more live with the consequences of life-changing medical errors? Think this could never happen to you? Think again because it can, and it did happen to Carolyn and Sean Savage from Sylvania, Ohio.

“I was so worried about the moment he was born and how I was going to say goodbye.” -Carolyn Savage

Carolyn and Sean Savage committed to carrying another couple’s baby to term after Carolyn was mistakenly implanted with the wrong embryo. Dr. Nicole Noyes, an IVF specialist from NYU Fertility Center, reveals how common this medical mistake is.

“Whenever there’s humans involved, there’s a chance for errors.” -Sean Savage

“You have cancer” are three of the most frightening words anyone can hear. But for Don Church from Lynwood, Washington, it was just the beginning of a horrifying medical mistake. Doctors performed surgery to remove a tumor and accidentally left a 13-inch metal retractor inside him.

“They found a 13-inch stainless steel retractor that they had left inside.” -Don Church

It is estimated that a foreign object is left inside a patient’s body 39 times a week in this country. Dr. Peter Pronovost, director of the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality at Johns Hopkins Medicine, explains how something like this could possibly happen.

“We go through the motions of a checklist, but your heart is not really in it.” -Dr. Peter Pronovost

Lenore Alexander from Los Angeles, California brought her 11-year-old daughter, Leah, to the hospital for what she thought was a routine surgery. She never could have anticipated the tragedy that happened next.

“Nobody should ever have to feel that.” -Lenore Alexander

In the face of unthinkable tragedy, Lenore has now become a champion for patient safety. Her first priority is to have Leah’s Law passed to prevent more lethal medical errors.

“Continuous monitoring would save so many lives.” -Lenore Alexander

How can you prevent a medical mistake from happening to you or someone you love? Dr. Peter Pronovost shares the checklist every patient should have.

“Patients have a really important role in keeping themselves safe.” -Dr. Peter Pronovost

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