Category: Medication Errors

Are Overworked Nurses Causing Medical Errors?

by John McKiggan

Are staffing demands putting patient safety at risk?

Last week the media reported two stories of interest to patient safety advocates.

The Province of Nova Scotia released statistics from its medical errors registry suggesting that, in the last six months, medical errors had caused almost thirty cases of serious injury or death in hospitals throughout Nova Scotia. If you are interested, you can read my article about the problems with Nova Scotia’s medical errors registry.

Nova Scotia Medical Errors Registry a Step in the Right Direction: Still a Long Way to go

by John McKiggan

Last week Nova Scotia released the result of its new policy which requires hospitals to report adverse events (medical speak for errors or mistakes).

According to the Province in the last six month there were 27 separate incidents, 21 of which where an “adverse event” led to serious disability or death.

Step in the right direction

How often does Medical Malpractice happen in Canada? The answer may surprise you.

by John McKiggan

In the six years that I have been writing this blog the article that has been consistently viewed the most, year after year, is the one published on September 29, 2008: How often does Medical Malpractice Happen in Canada?

Therefore, I thought it might be useful to take another look at the issue to see if the statics have changed or if there is any new information to shed some light on the question.

The American experience

What is the Safest Time to be admitted to Hospital? Weekend Admissions Carry Higher Risk of Death.

by John McKiggan

Weekends are dangerous in Hospitals

Last week the Canadian Institute for Health Information released a study that examined four million urgent acute care hospital admissions between 2010-2013. The study found that there was a 4% higher risk of death for patients admitted to hospital on a weekend rather than a weekday.

The statistics did not apply across the board. The so called “weekend effect” did not occur in hospital admissions for obstetric, pediatric or mental health patients.

Hospital Medication Errors in Canada: Are patients safer in Canada?

by John McKiggan

Pat Malone, in my opinion, is one of the most capable medical malpractice lawyers in the United States. That is why I frequently read his D.C. medical malpractice blog.

I am currently representing the family of a young man who died because he received the wrong medication during his treatment in hospital. So an article Pat recently wrote on Hospital Medication Errors caught my attention.

Medication errors common

Dental Procedure Causes Brain Damage: The risks of “sleep dentistry”

by John McKiggan

A client of mine sent me a link to a story about a case in Manitoba. She thought I would be interested in the article because the situation was so similar to a case I was involved in a few years ago in New Brunswick.

According to the article, last month a four year old girl from Manitoba suffered a brain injury following botched dental surgery. Jairlyn Roulette was supposed to undergo a routine surgical procedure on October 11, but ended up with a permanent disability. Jairlyn needed some teeth capped, some fillings and an extraction and her dentist thought it would be best to subject her to general anesthetic.

In other words, Jairlyn was going to be unconscious throughout the dental procedure.

Most Hospital Mistakes Never Reported

by John McKiggan

Medical malpractice lawyers know most potential victims of medical malpractice never file a claim. Recently a report by ABC News has confirmed that in the United States more than 80% of hospital errors are not reported by hospital employees.

Hospitals Don’t Learn From Mistakes?

The report analyzed data from hospitalized Medicare patients. Investigators determined even when mistakes were reported hospitals rarely changed their policies or practices to prevent repeated errors. Hospitals usually claimed that errors were not due to “systemic quality problems”.

Effective Management of Test Results Improves Patient’s Safety

by John McKiggan

A major study conducted by the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA) has identified ten key areas that can help improve patient safety.

Diagnostic testing is a critical part of modern medical care. Conducting appropriate tests in a timely fashion and reporting results of testing is key to ensuring appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

Miscommunication a Risk to Patients

Patient Safety: 10 Tips to Prevent Diagnostic Errors

by John McKiggan

A diagnostic error, or misdiagnosis, happens when a doctor (or other health care professional) reaches an incorrect conclusion about what is wrong with you.

In Canada up to 7.5% of patients experience some form of diagnostic error.

Why Diagnostic Errors Happen

Patient Safety Website Up and Running

by John McKiggan

The Canadian Patient Safety Institute, a non-profit organization, has created a new website designed to provide the public and health care providers with patient safety information from around the world.

The website is located at

The goal of the website is to provide access to safety advisories, alerts and other resources as well as to allow users to share information to help enhance patient care and protection.