In 2013, the most frequently reported medical errors in Indiana hospitals were pressure ulcers, more commonly known as bedsores. The Indiana Department of Health recently released its latest error report, and found that there was an increase in the number of stage 3 or four pressure ulcers or bedsores, from 2012.
There was an increase from 30 pressure ulcers in 2012, to 45 in 2013. These were bedsores that were acquired after the person gained admission to the hospital. Overall, there were 111 medical errors reported across Indiana hospitals and clinics in 2013. That was a substantial increase over the previous year, and it also marked the highest number of medical errors in any single year since the state of Indiana began reporting medical errors in 2006. The average number of medical errors every year since the start of reporting in 2006 is approximately 100.9 events annually.
The second most frequently reported error in 2013 was retention of a foreign object in a patient after surgery, followed by surgery on the wrong body part, and serious disability associated with a fall. Overall, there were 27 reported incidents in which foreign objects, like surgical scalpels and tools were left behind in patients after surgery. There were 18 related incidents in which surgery was performed on the wrong body part and 12 falls in hospitals, that either resulted in death or serious disability of the patient.
No medication errors were reported in any Indiana hospitals in 2013, and that marked the second year in a row that no medication errors were reported. However, that marks one of the few pieces of good news in the report. Overall, there has been an increase in errors, and the fact that there continue to be such preventable medical and surgical errors as wrong body part surgeries, and potential foreign objects left behind in a by the patient’s body after surgery, continues to be a cause of great concern for Indiana medical malpractice attorneys.
Out of the errors that occurred last year, 102 occurred at hospitals. The others occurred at ambulatory surgical centers.
These 4 errors have constituted the top four reported medical adverse events in Indiana, in six out of the eight years since these medical errors began to be reported in Indiana.
The Indiana Department Of Health needs to take this report seriously and focus on the promotion of initiatives to help reduce the incidence of surgical and medical errors and improve patient safety in Indiana hospitals.
The Indiana medical malpractice lawyers at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson Kennedy, LLP represent victims who have suffered medical negligence in hospitals across Indiana.