Checklist Discipline & Teamwork Can Prevent Leaving Needles in Infant Hearts

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This was the 2nd baby in 2 years to be discharged from a Florida hospital with surgical needles still in the heart.

How is it possible a needle can be left in a child’s heart after surgery, not once, but twice, in 2 years at the same hospital? The medical profession still suffers from too many human errors. A 2016 Johns Hopkins study estimated that more than 250,000 deaths per year were due to medical error in the U.S. alone!

Decades ago, the aviation industry also suffered from too many human errors, in an era when the aircraft captains (perhaps like some of today’s surgeons) often acted like untouchable deities whose authority went unquestioned. But the industry, commercial and military, brought about culture change by 1. insisting on disciplined use of checklists and 2. normalizing teamwork through Crew Resource Management (CRM). In simulators and daily work, crews worked together sharing responsibilities. Now, if a flight attendant sees something amiss & asks a captain to abort a landing & go around, the captain safely does so. Hard to see a nurse telling a surgeon he may have missed a needle…but that needs to happen.The competence and courage to speak up like that comes from developing your soft skills. Please take a look at Soft Power Skills Academy & step up your skills.

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