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The annual Minnesota Department of Health report concluded that the number of “adverse events” in Minnesota hospitals more than doubled from 2007 to 2008. Of the 312 reported, they included 18 deaths and 100 serious injuries. The report did tout the good news they found; improvements in patient safety, including preventing retained sponges after childbirth and a 25 percent decline in reported stage three and four pressure ulcers.

The hospital administrators claimed that despite the numbers, Minnesota hospitals are safer and that better reporting may be the real reason for the increased numbers. "It’s not just the numbers alone, but what we’re learning from each incident," Minnesota Health Commissioner Sanne Magnansaid, noting that the health department is celebrating the fifth anniversary of the reporting system. "This transparency and public reporting has persevered. … The fact that we have a safe environment to talk about safety is something we should really be proud of."

Locally, the St Cloud Hospital had seven “adverse health events” — one more than last year. In three cases, a foreign object was still in a patient after a surgery or another procedure. Three surgeries or other invasive procedures were performed on the wrong body part.

If you or a family member is injured by medical malpractice, it’s important that you seek the advice of knowledgeable attorneys who can answer your questions and make sure your rights are protected.

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