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PNS Daily Newscast - November 25, 2020 

Feeding the hungry on Thanksgiving and beyond; and is that Turkey really from a family farm? (Note to Broadcasters: the newscast has been granted a holiday for Thanksgiving, but we shall return first thing Friday.)

2020Talks - November 24, 2020 

Formal transition to Biden presidency begins; key Biden Cabinet nominations to be announced today. *2020Talks will not be released 11/26 & 11/27*

MA Medical Mistakes Stories Featured during ‘Patient Safety Week’

March 10, 2009

Boston, MA – A margin of error can mean a lost life. It's "Patient Safety Week," and healthcare advocates are taking their message to Massachusetts lawmakers. On Thursday at the State House at 10:00 a.m., they'll show videos that detail the devastating consequences of medical mistakes - including the story of Joe Prates' father, who died because of a hospital-acquired infection during kidney stone surgery.

"What we found out quickly, unfortunately, is that there is nothing routine when you undergo any procedure. Anybody that takes it lightly isn't being informed, or isn't considering all that can happen."

Paula Griswold, executive director of the Massachusetts Coalition for the Prevention of Medical Errors, says most hospitals are being aggressive about policies to prevent problems that hurt, or even kill, patients - but more detailed rules could help.

"Make sure that hospitals are consistently doing all the things that can prevent central line infections, and ventilator (associated) pneumonia, and infections from drug-resistant organisms."

Deb Wachenheim, quality coalition manager for the group Health Care for All, points out that Massachusetts is already considering several ideas to improve patient safety. One bill in the legislature focuses on MRSA, the antibiotic-resistant bacteria that has made news headlines in the past year.

"This would require hospitals to screen incoming high-risk patients for MRSA, and then take precautions to make sure that MRSA does not get spread among others in the hospital."

Other proposed legislation would create a committee to study and make recommendations about preventing medication errors; another bill would put a surgical procedure checklist into place for doctors.

Deb Courson, Public News Service - MA