During my first semester of Nursing School, I had the opportunity to research a sentinel event in the health care industry. A sentinel event is any unanticipated event in a healthcare setting resulting in death or serious physical or psychological injury to a patient or patients, not related to the natural course of the patient’s illness. Performing surgery on the wrong patient, an instrument or object left in the patient following a procedure, and accidental death of a full-term infant are all examples of sentinel events. Being a Veteran, I did a database search for any sentinel events at VA Hospitals. The results of my search left me disgusted. A majority of the first twenty results were involving the Atlanta VA Medical Center.
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