WebM&M Cases & Commentaries
WebM&M (Morbidity & Mortality Rounds on the Web) features expert analysis of medical errors reported anonymously by our readers. Spotlight Cases include interactive learning modules available for CME. Commentaries are written by patient safety experts and published monthly. Contribute by Submitting a Case anonymously.
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James Stotts, RN, MS, CNS, and Audrey Lyndon, PhD, RNC; May 2014
In the preoperative area, a man scheduled for excision of a groin lipoma received regional anesthesia (right iliac block) and was taken to the operating room. There, without alerting anyone, the patient attempted to rise to use the restroom, but—because his leg was numb—fell and hit his head. He reported acute neck pain and was transferred to the local emergency department.
Dennis S. O'Leary, MD; William E. Jacott, MD; December 2004
Despite a "time out" and having his leg marked by the surgeon, a patient comes perilously close to having surgery on the wrong leg.
Darrell Campbell, Jr., MD; June 2004
Despite persuasion from a surgical resident that her mother's life was in danger, a patient's daughter refuses consent for surgery on her mother. This was wise, since the procedure was intended for a different patient with the same unusual surname.
- Spotlight Case
Haya R. Rubin, MD, PhD; Vera T. Fajtova, MD; May 2004
To achieve tight glucose control, a hospitalized diabetes patient is placed on an insulin drip. Prior to minor surgery, he is made NPO and becomes severely hypoglycemic.