On November 28, 2011 the Indiana Department of Health released the results for the 2010 Medical Errors Report, with the most common medical error being Stage 3 or Stage 4 pressure ulcers, also known as ‘pressure sores’ or ‘bedsores’. Preventable medical errors are a top health care concern not only for patient safety but also in reducing health care costs.
The ISDH cites in their report that stage three or stage four bedsores acquired after a hospital admission accounted for 32% of all reported events. The total reported for 2010 was 34 stage 3 or 4 pressure ulcers, an increase from 2009’s report. Bedsores have been cited as the most common medical error in four out of the last five annual reports, with this year’s finding being the highest total since the reporting began in 2006.
The 2010 Indiana Medical Errors Report lists ‘foreign objects retained in a patient after surgery’ as a close second to bedsores. In 2010, 33 events of leaving behind a foreign object after surgery were reported, an increase from the 29 reported in 2009. The department concluded that they have not seen much change in the the retained foreign objects events over the past three years.
Rounding out Indiana’s list of most reported medical errors were 17 for falls that resulted in death or serious disability and 14 for surgery on the wrong body part. The number of falls increased dramatically from the two previous years where only 8 events had been reported. The department attributes this to a change in the reporting which changed from only reporting ‘deaths’ to ‘deaths or serious disability’ associated with a fall. The report states that for the first time in the five years of reporting, there were no deaths or disabilities associated with medication errors. To view the entire report, visit the Indiana State Department of health website at www.in.gov/isdh.
The Indiana Department of Health began reporting on the state’s medical errors in 2006 and is based on the National Quality Forum’s 28 serious reportable events. A serious medical event can be any event which results in death, serious disability, or any surgical event involving a wrong patient, wrong body part, or wrong procedure. These types of medical errors are recognized as mostly being preventable and are typically the result of a breakdown in the care system.
If you feel that you or a loved one has been adversely affected by a serious medical error seek the professional advice of an experienced attorney to determine your rights. Contact the Powless Law Firm for a free case review.