5 most common sentinel events so far in 2019

Incidents involving retained foreign objects were the most common sentinel event in the first half of 2019, according to data The Joint Commission released Aug. 14.

The Joint Commission defines a sentinel event as a patient safety event that results in death, permanent harm, severe temporary harm or intervention required to sustain life. The latest data includes several new sentinel event categories, including anesthesia-related events, criminal events and environmental events.

The Joint Commission reviewed 436 reports of sentinel events in the first six months of the year, 83 percent of which were voluntarily reported to the accrediting body.

Here are the five most frequently reported sentinel events for the first half of 2019:

1. Unintended retention of a foreign body — 60 reported events

2. Wrong-site surgery — 29

3. Fall — 25

4. Suicide (inpatient) — 21

5. Suicide (off-site) — 21

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