1 out of 10 inpatients wrongly diagnosed: survey
A 32-year-old man got embarrassed when he received surgery on his left knee injured at the workplace at a joint hospital in Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province, last May. When awakened from his anesthesia, he found his both knees in casts. The surgeon also operated for his left knee later after mistakenly performing surgery on his right one. The hospital side said, “The right knee also needed surgery. It’s all the better.” Lee has in legal battle, lodging a suit against the hospital for being negligent in his job.
A 41-year-old Gang died in two weeks after starting anti-cancer treatment upon medical check that he was in his early stage of malignant lymphoma at an Incheon hospital last September. This was because a medical trainee injected spine cord-melting anti-cancer, Vincristine, into the spine cord, not vein. There was also a similar report from a hospital in North Gyeongsang Province two years ago that a male baby was killed due to injection of the anti-cancer substance.
One out of 10 inpatients had their illness wrongly diagnosed from medical doctors, according to a survey conducted by the Korea Health & Medical Workers’ Union and a nationwide patients group, the Korea Federation of Patients Associations.
The survey for 540 inpatients showed Thursday that 9.8 percent of the questioned replied that they experienced wrong diagnosis. The wrong diagnoses were diverse, ranging from clear misjudgement of disease names to terminal case as early stage symptom.
As many as 3.7 percent experienced wrong injection which might give serious damage, 0.9 percent received wrong type of blood and 2.2 percent got infected at hospitals with the figure higher at 2.9 percent at larger hospitals in number of patient beds and medical staff.
Injuries from slippery to the ground in hospitals account for 5.5 percent and bedsores caused by negligence of nurses or caregivers account for 3.7 percent. As many as 5.3 percent replied that they were damaged due to wrong communications with medical doctors with the figure at 7.1 percent at general hospitals.
Waiting time is long, while treatment time is small. As many as 98.9 percent of patients at higher general hospitals and 87.8 percent at general hospitals waited for more than 10 minutes, while 68.4 percent and 52 percent at respective hospitals received medical consultations for less than five minutes.