Risk Management Tools & Resources

 

CASE STUDY: Patient Aspirates Foreign Material During Dental Restoration Procedure

The patient presented to Dr. J, a general dentist, for four uncomplicated restorations. After Dr. J obtained and reviewed the patient's history and physical information and received appropriate informed consent to treat, she started the procedure. Shortly after entering the patient's oral cavity, the burr dislodged from the handpiece, struck the back of the patient's mouth, and the patient aspirated it.

The patient was having some respiratory distress, so the office contacted emergency medical services (EMS). At the local hospital, an X-ray indicated the burr was in the base of the patient's lung. An otolaryngologist was unsuccessful in reaching the burr endoscopically; ultimately, a thoracic surgeon removed it.

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Case Study: Multiple Lapses Result in Patient Fall and Injury

A male in his mid-sixties presented to his local emergency department (ED) with complaints of shortness of breath and chest pain. He had a history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cardiovascular disease (CVD). The patient was admitted to the hospital for exacerbation of COPD symptoms and atypical chest pain.

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CASE STUDY: Failure to Follow Protocols, Poor Documentation, and Inadequate Postmortem Investigation Worsens Liability

This case study discusses how multiple missteps can play a role in an adverse outcome and increase the risk of liability. As such, the case study focuses on a healthcare providers' involvement with a patient from a two-phase perspective: clinical care provided to the patient during the patient's hospitalization and compliance with hospital protocols prior to and following the patient's death.

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CASE STUDY: Failures in Communication and Management of Care Result in Poor Patient Outcome

The patient, a 66-year-old Hispanic male who did not speak English, was referred to a MedPro-insured ophthalmologist (Dr. A) by his regular optometrist (Dr. B) for evaluation of early cataracts. During the patient's appointment, Dr. A relied on her very limited Spanish proficiency to communicate with the patient instead of using an interpreter.

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CASE STUDY: Lapses in Clinical Judgment Lead to Poor Patient Outcome and Malpractice Suit

A patient who had undergone radiation therapy for cancer of the soft palate presented to his general dentist for routine care. Because of severe xerostomia, the dentist and patient were unable to control the patient's caries.

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CASE STUDY: Inadequate Communication Between Provider and Patient Leads to Misdiagnosis

A doctor on call for his group practice received an after-hours call from a male patient in his sixties. The patient was complaining of weakness and reported that he had started a new blood pressure pill (hydrochlorothiazide) 3 days earlier. He also reported taking lisinopril daily for more than a year.

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