Category: Nursing 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.

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.

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”.

Standard of Care for Nursing Students in Nova Scotia medical malpractice claims – McIntosh v. Isaac Walton Killam-Grace Health Centre

by John McKiggan

Justice Muise of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia recently released his reasons in McIntosh v. Isaac Walton Killam – Grace Health Centre.

The Facts

Ms. McIntoshs’ baby was delivered at the IWK by C-section after a period of pushing in an attempt to deliver vaginally. Ten days after the delivery she became aware of pain in her left hip. She had not had any prior problems with her hip before her delivery.

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.

Negligent Nurse Who Lost License Still Working in Canada

by John McKiggan

In 2001 Spencer Sullivan had elective surgery for neck and back pain at the University of California San Francisco Medical Centre. The surgery went well and there were no complications.

Negligent Nursing Care

But while Sullivan was in the hospital recuperating his nurse, Rose McKenzie, gave him two different types of pain medication without checking with the doctors who were in charge of Sullivan’s care. McKenzie then failed to monitor Sullivan throughout the night.

Distractions & Interruptions Lead to Nursing Errors

by John McKiggan

Distractions Cause Nursing Errors
Nurses who are distracted or interrupted during their medical preparation experience higher levels of medical errors.

I have posted before about how overworking causes errors that lead to medical malpractice.

Overworked Nurses Causing Medication Errors

Patient’s Medical Malpractice Claim against Nurse and Hospital Fails

by John McKiggan

A recent decision from Justice Lococo from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice confirms the difficult odds that injured patients face when pursuing a medical malpractice claim.

Patient Suffered Stroke

In Hasselsjo v. St. Joseph’s Hospital et al, Songja Hasselsjo suffered a stroke. She sued St. Joseph’s Hospital and the nurse that treated her in the emergency department.

Nurse’s Negligence Caused Child’s Brain Injury

by John McKiggan

Nurse Negligent

In a decision released last week, Justice Tausendfreund has ruled that a nurse at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital was negligent and that the nurse’s negligence caused catastrophic brain injuries to a baby, Danny Vuong.

Danny’s mother, Ms. Giang was admitted to St. Joseph’s Hospital on June 12, 2991. Her pregnancy had been normal and uneventful.