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Mike Bryant
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Minnesota’s Increased Adverse Medical Events Report Cause For Great Concern

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The Minnesota adverse medical reports are out and there was an increase of 187 events in 2008 from 2007. A total of 312 time, serious preventable hospital errors took place. Locally, St Cloud Hospital had seven of those events. It’s a good thing that the legislature passed these reporting requirements, but a review of these reports shows that before these requirements, the number of reported adverse events would have been 141.

During 2007, 13 incidents were linked to patient deaths and 10 resulted in a serious disability. but in the 2008 report, 98 incidents led to a serious disability. Incidents include surgery on the wrong body part, items like sponges or surgical objects left in a patient’s body during surgery, bed sores, and patient falls.

To see a full copy of the adverse health events report and additional information, visit the MDH’s Adverse Health Events Web page, at www.health.state.mn.us/patientsafety. More information about hospitals can be found at http://www.mnhospitals.org.

The troubling part is to think of all the past events that have gone by unreported. How many people were killed or severely injured and nothing was said? Hopefully, the increased scrutiny will lead to less overall medical events.