Mistakes in Hospital Intensive Care Units

Mistakes in Hospital Intensive Care Units

Mistakes in Hospital Intensive Care Units 800 534 Dan Frith

No one wants to be hospitalized and ABSOLUTELY NO ONE wants to be so sick or injured as to be in the hospital Intensive Care Unit (ICU).  The ICU provides specialized treatment to patients who are acutely unwell and require critical medical care. An ICU provides the critical care and life support for acutely ill and injured patients.  The ICU is where we get the best care, right?  Maybe not.

A recent report published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) is disturbing.  The report, Diagnostic Errors in Hospitalized Adults Who Died or Were Transferred to Intensive Care, was published in January of 2024.  The report is the result of a review of over 2,400 ICU patient records from 29 different hospitals.  The conclusion was that a missed or delayed diagnosis took place in 23% of the patients, with 17% of these errors causing temporary or permanent harm (including death) to patients.  In a study published by the National Library of Medicine, it is estimated that over 45 percent of the mistakes made in the ICU were preventable.

Medical negligence that occurs in the ICU may include the following errors:

  • Misdiagnosis
  • Medication errors – wrong medication, wrong dosage
  • Inadequate post-op care
  • Delay in diagnosis
  • Nursing errors
  • Failure to properly and regularly monitor the patient’s vital signs
  • Lack of attention to patient care
  • Failure to acknowledge a patient has a serious medical condition

About the author

Dan Frith

Dan Frith has over 25 years of experience representing individuals and families in cases of medical malpractice throughout Virginia. He has been named "Best Medical Malpractice Attorney" by Roanoker Magazine and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. To speak with Dan, contact him by email at dfrith@frithlawfirm.com.

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