Medicos with burnout twice as likely to make mistakes: US study

Medical practitioners (or physicians as they prefer to be called in the United States) with burnout reported medical errors at double the rate of other practitioners after adjusting for specialty, work hours, fatigue and work unit safety rating, according to findings recently published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 

“A nuanced understanding of the potentially bidirectional connection between physician well-being and patient safety remains in its infancy,” Dr Daniel Tawfik, MD, of the department at paediatrics at Stanford University and colleagues wrote.

6,695 medical practitioners reviewed

Researchers reviewed survey responses from 6,695 actively practising medical practitioners, of whom 55% reported burnout symptoms, 33% reported excessive fatigue and 6.5% recently thought about suicide.

Eleven per cent of all physicians reported a “major medical error” and another 3.9% had a poor or failing patient safety grade in their primary work area during the previous three months.

In addition, multi-variable modelling showed perceived errors were independently more likely to be reported by physicians with burnout (OR = 2.2; 95% CI, 1.8-2.8), fatigue (OR = 1.4; 95% CI 1.1-1.6), and in those who physicians who received ‘F’ grades for safety (OR = 4.4; 95 CI, 2.06-9.28). The most common errors were mistakes in judgment (39%), wrong diagnosis (20%), or technical mistake (13%). Fifty-five per cent of the errors did not affect patient outcome, but 5.3% led

Read More >

By | July 14th, 2018|Misadventure|

52,000 eye-injury cases admitted to hospital over 5-year period

Close to 52,000 people in Australia required an admission to hospital for treatment for eye injury between 2010-11 and 2014-15, according to a report released this month by the Australian Institute for Health and Welfare and Flinders University.

An open wound of the eyelid and periocular area (27%) was the most common principal diagnosis for eye-injury cases, followed by a fracture of orbital floor (18%).

Falls were the most common cause of eye injury, being responsible for just over one-third (35%) of cases. A fall-related eye injury most commonly occurred in those aged over 65 and was more frequently reported in women of this age group (72%) than in men (46%).

A further 23% of eye injuries were due to an assault, with this being the most common external cause reported for males (26%). Exposure to inanimate mechanical forces (20%) rounded out the top 3 external causes. This latter category includes, for example, injuries due to a foreign body entering the eye, or being struck in the orbital region by an object.

A total of 3,720 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were hospitalised for an eye injury. During this 5-year period, assault-related eye injuries were more frequent for Indigenous Australians (61% or 2,270 cases) than for non-Indigenous Australians (20%, or 9,317 cases).

Sports-related eye

Read More >

By | June 11th, 2018|Misadventure|

Unproven cell stem therapy causes blindness for three women in United States

An unproven stem cell therapy that involves extracting a patient’s fat tissue and injecting it into the eyes has caused three women in the United States to go blind.

The women, aged between 72 and 88, were treated in Florida in 2015 for the progressive eye disease macular degeneration, according to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine on 16 March.

They thought they were enrolling in a legitimate clinical trial, having found it under the title: ‘Study to assess the safety and effects of cells injected intravitreal in dry macular degeneration’ on ClinicalTrials.gov, the United States government’s website for such research.

Retinal detachment and haemmorhage

However, they immediately suffered complications, including retinal detachment and haemorrhage, which caused total loss of eyesight.

Neither the clinic nor patients involved were named in the study, which was co-authored by Thomas Albini, associate professor of clinical ophthalmology at the University of Miami.

Two of the patients sought treatment at the university’s hospital for the complications they suffered.

“There’s a lot of hope for stem cells, and these types of clinics appeal to patients desperate for care who hope that stem cells are going to be the answer,” Professor Albini said.

“But in this case these women participated in a clinical enterprise that was off-the-charts dangerous.”

Off-the-chart dangerous

The procedure claimed to use

Read More >

By | March 23rd, 2017|Misadventure|