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Hospital to invest $1.7 million in changes after surgical errors

When something goes wrong during an operation, medical malpractice suits are often the first consideration for patients. But what responsibility do Delaware hospitals have for surgical errors that take place in their facilities, especially if a location appears prone to issues? Elsewhere in the U.S., a hospital in the Northeast has been ordered by state health officials to invest at least $1.7 million after a series of medical errors in its facility.

The order comes after the hospital reported four major errors in six months. Two patients underwent surgery on the wrong part of the body, while two others had a surgical tool called a guidewire left in their bodies following catheterization. The hospitals reported the incidents in accordance with state laws.

Hospital operators affirmed that they are working on an aggressive improvement plan to prevent similar incidents in the future. The review will encompass the hospital's safety culture and practices, staff education, retraining and more. The hospital was required to present a 100-day plan to state health official on June 13, 2018 to confirm that it had a plan in place to improve the situation. 

In order to monitor compliance with the agreement, the hospital will hire an independent expert by Aug. 1 to ensure compliance with the agreed-upon plan. In the past, other hospitals have also been legally required to enter into a consent agreement following surgical errors. Those who have been the victim of errors in Delaware may be personally entitled to compensation as well. A lawyer can help clarify these issues for those involved in such incidents.

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