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Medicare, Aetna, Blue Cross May Not Pay For Hospital Mistakes

Armen Hareyan's picture

With National Patient Safety Awareness Week March 2-8, patients need to know about "Never Events," rare but serious - sometimes fatal - complications that should never have occurred at the hospital.

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One glaring example of a rare but sometimes deadly peril relates to serious complications when an electrosurgical device shoots an arc of energy through failed insulation during routine minimally invasive laparoscopy - common procedure performed on over 5 million people in the U.S. every year for gall bladder removal, simple hernia repair, gynecological procedures, etc.

Kristina A. Fox is one victim. She checked into a Portland, Ore. hospital to relieve a painful gynecological condition. Stray energy escaped from the instrument's shaft during the procedure searing a tiny hole in her colon. Mrs. Fox became dangerously ill from infectious bacteria that entered her abdomen, and still suffers from a malfunctioning bladder and severe pain after 13 follow-up operations. She is unable to bear children and unable to work. Her life was changed forever by what was supposed to be a routine day surgery.

Our client Encision Inc. of Boulder, Colo., makes a simple failsafe solution that has been embraced by 300 U.S. hospitals to prevent stray electrosurgical burns described above. Like a kitchen or bathroom ground fault circuit interrupter, Encision's AEM monitor shuts off the power to the instrument if even one electron tries to stray to the wrong place.