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This case describes a 55-year-old woman who sustained critical injuries after a motor vehicle crash and had a lengthy hospitalization. On hospital day 30, a surgeon placed a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tube in the intensive care unit (ICU) after computed tomography (CT) scan showed no interposed bowel between the stomach and the anterior abdominal wall. After the uncomplicated PEG placement, the surgeon cleared the patient’s team to advance tube feeds as tolerated.
This case highlights two “never events” involving the same patient. A first-year orthopedic surgery resident was consulted to aspirate fluid from the left ankle of a patient in the intensive care unit. The resident, accompanied by a second resident, approached the wrong patient and inserted the needle into the patient’s right ankle. At this point, a third resident entered the room and stated that it was the incorrect patient. The commentary highlights the importance of a proper time out and approaches to improve communication among all members of the care team.
Zucchelli G, Stefanini M, eds. Periodontol 2000. 2023;92(1):1-398.
Harolds JA, Harolds LB. Clin Nucl Med. 2015–2023.
Burton S. New York Times and Serial Productions. June 30-July 27, 2023.
A 56-year-old man was admitted to the hospital and required mechanical ventilation due to COVID-19-related pneumonia and acute respiratory failure. The care team performed a tracheostomy percutaneously at the bedside with some difficulty. The tracheostomy tube was secured, inspected via bronchoscopy, and properly sutured. During the next few days, the respiratory therapist noticed a leak that required additional inflation of the cuff to maintain an adequate seal.
During an elective diagnostic cardiac catheterization, the cardiologist unintentionally perforated the patient’s left ventricular wall with the catheter. The cardiologist failed to recognize the perforation, failed to take corrective measures to address the problem, and continued with the cardiac catheterization, including coronary angiographic imaging. Soon after the end of the procedure, the patient complained of severe chest pain and echocardiographic images revealed bleeding around the heart caused by the catheter-related ventricular wall perforation.
A 55-year-old man presented in hypotensive shock, presumably due to bacterial pneumonia superimposed on COPD. The nurse placed an arterial line appropriately in the patient’s radial artery for hemodynamic monitoring, but this line was inadvertently used to infuse an antibiotic. The patient experienced acute arterial thrombosis with resulting hand ischemia but responded to rapid thrombolytic and anticoagulant therapy.
Chicago, IL: American Hospital Association: May 2023.
This case involves a procedural sedation error in a 3-year-old patient who presented to the Emergency Department with a left posterior hip dislocation. The commentary summarizes the indications and risks of procedural sedation in non-surgical settings and highlights the value of implementing system-wide safety protocols and practices to prevent medication administration errors during high-risk procedures.