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2014 Statistics for Serious Reportable Medical Injuries

Victor Lewin - Friday, October 03, 2014

There is always a risk of surgeries and medical procedures going wrong, and the Department of Health and Wellness is notified of the serious reportable events. According to figures reported from the IWK Heath Centre and the district health authorities, 19 serious reportable events occurred in Nova Scotia from January to March, and eight occurred from April to June.

Of the patient safety incidents reported in the first quarter, 10 were care management events that mostly involved patients acquiring stage three or four pressure ulcers after being admitted to an IWK Health Centre or DHA facility. Others involved the serious disability or death of patients who did or did not receive treatment or who were under professional care for labour or delivery. Six of these incidents were also reported during the second quarter.

The second-most serious reportable events that occurred during the first quarter were categorized as patient protection events. Of the five reported incidents, four involved the attempted suicide or suicide of patients under IWK Health Centre or DHA care. The attempted suicides resulted in the serious disability of the patients. One of these types of events also occurred in the second quarter.

The other four incidents that were reported from January to March were categorized as surgical errors or environmental events. The remaining two incidents reported from April to June were categorized as product or device events or environmental incidents.

When a patient becomes the victim of surgical error because of the negligence of the surgeon, technician, health care facility or all three, the patient has a right to file a medical malpractice claim in pursuit of compensation. Patients in such situations who feel overwhelmed with the claims process could seek the advice of a lawyer on how to navigate the system and build a strong case for reparation.

Source: Nova Scotia Canada, "Serious Reportable Events", September 30, 2014

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