Hospital Surgical and Medication Errors Climb According to New Report

2013 was not a good year for Connecticut hospitals in terms of medical errors. According to a recently released report, “the number of so-called ‘adverse events’ in hospitals and other health care facilities has topped 500 — double the number in 2012, when 244 such incidents were reported. Much of the increase was due to an expansion of reporting on pressure ulcers, which added a new category with 233 ‘unstageable’ ulcers that were not counted before. Even without that category, however, reports of adverse events climbed 20 percent from 2012, according to a report in the Hartford Courant. Perhaps the most alarming statistic found in the report concerns the number of foreign objects left behind in patient after a surgical procedure. According to the Hartford Courant, “The most significant increases were in the numbers of patients harmed by foreign objects left in their bodies after procedures — doubling from 12 to 25 in one year — or those harmed by perforations during surgical procedures — 79, compared with 55 the previous year. Those are ‘the highest levels since the (data reporting) was adopted in mid-2004,’ the state report says.”