Serious medical errors rise in Minnesota: 4 report findings

Minnesota hospitals and licensed surgery centers reported 384 medical errors in 2018, marking an increase from the 342 errors tallied a year prior, according to the state health department's 15th annual adverse event report published March 1.

Minnesota became the first state to publicly report medical errors in 2003 with the passage of the Adverse Health Events Reporting Law. The law requires hospitals in the state to notify the health department when one of 29 serious medical events occurs. 

Four report findings:

1. The state's 15th annual report details medical errors that occurred between Oct. 7, 2017, and Oct. 6, 2018.

2. The errors contributed to 11 deaths and 118 serious injuries.

3. Of the 11 deaths, five were linked to falls, three involved the death of a newborn, two stemmed from medication errors and one involved a suicide.

4. The five most common medical errors in 2018 were pressure ulcers (147), patient falls (76), retained objects (33), biological sampling errors (33) and wrong-site surgeries (24).

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