Johns Hopkins Medical Centers Failing Their Own Safety MeasuresFebruary 5, 2019
The Johns Hopkins Medical Centers possess a reputation for patient safety excellence. The network of medical centers within their system consists of four centers in Maryland, and two others based in Washington, D.C. and St. Petersburg, Florida. Their seemingly stellar reputation stems from the creation of a medical checklist that reportedly saved many lives.
Doctors developed the checklist after a young burn victim succumbed to fatal dehydration, and a participant in an asthma study led to a fatal chemical inhalation during testing. Key points on the list direct medical staff to adhere to sanitary guidelines for optimum hygiene. Once the centers implemented the checklist into practice, infection rates fell by 66 percent. Due to its success, the federal government recruited Johns Hopkins to develop safety guidelines and training programs for nationwide medical facilities.
Failing Safety Standards
Unfortunately, despite the overwhelming innovation of the medical checklist, their six facilities have failed to adhere to their own standards, risking the lives of patients and systematically destroying their hard-won reputation. Instances of unsanitary conditions and equipment, inadequate examinations, dangerous medical mistakes, and more riddle the medical centers.
Unsanitary Conditions and Equipment
Two facilities exhibited unsanitary conditions and the use of improperly cleaned and sterilized equipment. Medical staffers at Howard County General Hospital in Columbia, Maryland failed to wear protective gear during surgeries and did not wash their hands before procedures. At Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, surgeries occurred in inadequately cleaned and sterilized operating rooms. Furthermore, in two cases, instruments lacking proper sterilization were used on patients. Patients at the cancer unit shared vital-signs machines, which led to an outbreak of bacterial infections.
Radiologists at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore failed to diagnose serious conditions afflicting patients. In one instance, they did not catalog a spine fracture, which appeared during a CT scan. They also failed to detect several fatal embolisms that showed up on the CT scan of another patient.
In 2013, two patients received the wrong blood types, and one patient succumbed to fatal complications. Although Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore denied culpability and cited an adverse reaction to medication, no evidence could confirm this during the inspection.
Egregious medical mistakes flooded the Johns Hopkins Regional Burn Center where several children endured surgeries that left them disfigured or received unnecessary procedures that caused them to contract infections and sepsis. A series of medical errors led to the leg amputation and subsequent fatal injuries that befell a child being treated for third degree burns.
After examining this case and digging through medical records, one doctor called attention to the errors of the Surgery Department and the CEO who downplayed his concerns. Eventually, he filed a whistleblower lawsuit and alleged retaliation by the hospital, which a judge dismissed because of lack of evidence. Five other families filed claims for the improper treatment of the children’s burn injuries.
Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Hospital Negligence
A highly regarded hospital may be the last place you assume will harbor unsanitary conditions or cause medical errors. If you or a loved one suffered due to medical negligence, the Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton will fight for you. We will construct your claim by examining each piece of evidence and hear your story. Call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent medical malpractice victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.