Hospital Errors at an All-time High

According to a report by the Department of Public Health, there are record numbers of hospital patients being fatally wounded or critically injured by errors caused in Connecticut hospitals. The largest hospitals in the state reported the highest amounts of errors, including the most common mistakes, which involve medication errors, surgical procedure perforations and falls. The 2013 report finds that significant errors in the health care industry have more than doubled since the previous year; in 2012, 244 accidents were reported and by the next year, more than 500 accidents were filed.

Many of the errors were self-reported, making it difficult to draw an accurate conclusion about the status of quality care and patient safety in the state’s hospitals. However, local hospitals have responded to the statistics found in the report and are increasing their efforts to prevent falls and errors that take place during surgeries. Hospitals are encouraged to report all adverse circumstances and to make patient safety a top priority.

Some of the most common errors that were reported included objects being left inside a patient after an operation and perforations made during operations. Shockingly, the number of reported objects left inside a patient more than doubled from the previous year, and the number of surgery perforations significantly increased as well. The report states that the highest levels of errors have been reported since data reporting was taken from 2004.

Almost half of the surgical perforations that fatally wounded or critically injured patients involved colonoscopy procedures; others involved common procedures such as hernia repairs and endoscopies. A patient seeks medical treatment to remedy an existing issue, and health care providers have a duty of care to adhere to in caring for their patients. A patient who has suffered injury due to a health care provider’s error or negligence may choose to seek compensation.

Source: Connecticut Post, “Hospital reports of surgical, medication errors climb“, Lisa Chedekel, January 05, 2015