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AARP The Magazine

Lessons From America's Safest Hospitals

More than 180,000 people die every year from hospital errors. Here's what the top medical centers are doing to improve your odds

En español l In November 4, 2004, Mary McClinton, a beloved 69-year-old social worker and mother of four, checked into Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle for a relatively complex but routine procedure to treat a brain aneurysm. Doctors planned to inject her with a contrast dye to help them guide a stent into her brain, via a catheter in her leg, to repair the aneurysm. Instead, they injected her with an antiseptic — a topical cleaning agent — that had been stored in an unlabeled container on the same tray as the dye. The antiseptic blocked the flow of blood in her leg, which swelled to twice its normal size. … Back to Article

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ONE DOCTOR'S PRESCRIPTION: Dr. Peter Pronovost developed a checklist to help prevent hospital infections and medical mistakes.

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