Public Health Quiz #24: Types of Medical Errors

1. A 27-year-old man is brought to the emergency department after a car accident. He is alert and oriented but complains of severe pain in his left leg, which is visibly deformed. The attending physician orders an X-ray for the right leg instead of the left by mistake. The error is caught by the radiology technician, and the correct X-ray is subsequently performed, confirming a fracture in the left leg. This type of error is best classified as: 

Question 1 of 5

2. A 55-year-old woman with type 2 diabetes is admitted to the hospital for uncontrolled blood sugar levels. She is mistakenly given a dose of insulin intended for another patient with a similar name. As a result, she experiences hypoglycemia, which is promptly identified and treated. This incident is an example of: 

Question 2 of 5

3. A 40-year-old man undergoes laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Post-operatively, he develops a fever and leukocytosis. A CT scan reveals a retained surgical sponge in the abdomen. The need for a second surgery to remove the sponge categorizes this mistake as a: 

Question 3 of 5

4. During a routine health check-up, a 50-year-old man's blood test shows an elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level. The physician decides to monitor the situation without informing the patient or conducting further diagnostic tests. Two years later, the patient is diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. This oversight can be categorized as a: 

Question 4 of 5

5. A patient with a known allergy to penicillin is prescribed amoxicillin by a healthcare provider who failed to review the patient's allergy history. The patient develops an allergic reaction but recovers after appropriate treatment. This incident best exemplifies a: 

Question 5 of 5


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