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Adverse events at Connecticut hospitals

According to a new Connecticut Department of Public Health report, there were 24 cases last year in hospitals in the state where surgeons left foreign objects inside their patients. In addition, there were four instances where a patient had the wrong surgical procedure done. There was even a case where someone impersonated a doctor and ordered a patient's care.

Does this mean that you should go to another state to have surgery? Overall, the numbers for "adverse events" went down by 12 percent in 2014 from the prior year. These errors decreased from 534 to 471.

What are the most common types of adverse events while in surgery? The most common are pressure ulcers that a patient got after they were admitted to a health care facility. Falls that resulted in death or serious injuries were the next most common. Perforations during laparoscopic, endoscopic and/or open surgeries were the third most common adverse event. Coming in at fourth place was the retention of foreign objects inside patients after surgery. These four types of adverse events accounted for 417 of the 471 total adverse events last year in Connecticut hospitals.

There were other types of adverse events, such as operating on the wrong side of patients, the use of contaminated devices, drugs that lead to serious injury or death, sexual assault or abuse and the wrong procedure performed on a patient.

The number of adverse events was just about even between women and men. However, age did matter when it came to adverse events -- 271 of the events happened to patients over the age of 65.

When adverse events happen and cause serious injuries or death, the victim and/or the survivors have a right to seek compensation for medical malpractice. These adverse events were preventable, and someone should be held accountable for these mistakes.

Source: patch.com, "Connecticut Hospitals' 'Adverse Events' Reported; How Did Yours Do?," Michael Woyton, Nov. 10, 2015

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