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Cases & Commentaries
- Web M&M
Yi Lu, MD, PhD, and Douglas Salvador, MD, MPH; August 2019
A woman with a history of prior spine surgery presented to the emergency department with progressive low back pain. An MRI scan of T11–S1 showed lumbar degenerative joint disease and a small L5–S1 disc herniation. She was referred for physical therapy and prescribed muscle relaxant, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, and pain relievers. Ten days later, she presented to a community hospital with fever, inability to walk, and numbness from the waist down. Her white blood cell count was greater than 30,000 and she was found to be in acute renal and liver failure. She was transferred to a neurosurgery service at an academic hospital when an MRI revealed a T6–T10 thoracic epidural abscess.
Journal Article > Study
Cohen FL, Mendelsohn D, Bernstein M. J Neurosurg. 2010;113:461-473.
This study found that communication breakdowns, inadequate preoperative checks, technical factors, and human error were the primary categories identified in assessing the root causes of wrong-site craniotomy. The authors suggest that the events were preventable had proper compliance with protocols taken place.
Journal Article > Commentary
Recommendations and low-technology safety solutions following neuromuscular blocking agent incidents.
Graudins LV, Downey G, Bui T, Dooley MJ. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2016;42:86-95.
Administration errors involving high-alert medications have the potential to cause serious patient harm. This commentary discusses one hospital's effort to reduce errors associated with neuromuscular blocking agents. The authors used root cause analysis to identify weaknesses in labeling, storage, and packaging methods, and implemented guidelines to reduce risk of errors involving such medications.