More victims than meet the eye

By Linda K. Kenney

Patients are not the only victims in medical errors

In November 1999 (the same month the Institute of Medicine released its famous report, To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System), at the age of 37, I was scheduled for a total ankle replacement surgery at a major medical facility in Boston. Instead of waking up with a new ankle, I awoke several days later to discover that moments after the administration of a popliteal fossa nerve block with bupivacaine, I suffered a grand mal seizure followed by cardiac arrest. I remained unresponsive even after 15 minutes of interventions by the code team.

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