A depressed woman who overdosed on drugs was mistakenly pronounced dead and placed on the operating table for organ removal, because she was marked as an organ donor. Just one problem. Colleen S. Burns wasn't dead.
New York's state Health Department fined St. Joseph's Hospital $22,000 for almost harvesting the organs from a living patient. The Syracuse hospital has been penalized for other medical catastrophes, but the state "could not find another case similar to the Burns case after reviewing the past 10 years of inspection records," according to a spokesman.
The day before her organs were to be removed, a nurse had performed a reflex test on Burns, scraping a finger on the bottom of her foot. The toes curled downward - not the expected reaction of someone who's supposed to be dead.
There were other indications that Burns had not suffered irreversible brain damage, as doctors had determined. Her nostrils flared in the prep area outside the OR. She seemed to be breathing independently from the respirator she was attached to. Her lips and tongue moved.
The rest of the gruesome story is here.
The incident happened in 2009; 16 months later, the woman killed herself.
How often do horrific near-accidents like the almost organ harvest from a still-living Colleen S. Burns take place in hospitals? Hard to say, say the medical experts quoted in the article. It's not like the victims can tell us.
[syracuse.com via @LizSzabo]
Where are our petabyte drives? Brian Hayes takes us through the reasons storage is “stuck” in the low terabytes. The tl;dr is that we got such exceptional capacity growth in the late 90s and early 00s we don’t need much more right now, so the focus since then has been on SSDs, networking, interfaces, etc, […]
Amélie Lamont, a former staffer at website-hosting startup Squarespace, writes that she often found herself disregarded and disrespected by her colleagues. One comment in particular, though, set her reeling — and came to exemplify her experiences there.
In this episode of the Flash Forward podcast we travel to a future where humans have decided to eradicate the most dangerous animal on the planet: mosquitos. How would we do it? Is it even possible? And what are the consequences? Flash Forward: RSS | iTunes | Twitter | Facebook | Web | Patreon We […]
White hat hackers get paid to find holes in their own employers’ online systems, and plug those holes before they become serious security risks. It’s a job that pays handsomely…mostly because few job candidates, even experienced IT professionals, have the skills to scamper over firewalls and infiltrate the deepest recesses of a battle-tested network. But […]
Why buy one of those expensive and confusing universal remotes, clogged with enough buttons to launch a space shuttle, when you could accomplish the same electronic control right on your favorite mobile device? The Blumoo Universal Remote, now just $52.99 in the Boing Boing Store, harnesses the audio power of all your household equipment right […]
You may not love Microsoft Word, but you’ve definitely used it. Other than being one of the most ubiquitous programs on the planet, it’s been the go-to word processing system for more than a quarter-century because it’s as basic as it gets. But occasionally, you’ve got assignments that beg for a lot more options than simple […]