Sores, surgery errors top 2012 Indiana medical errors

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Serious bed sores reported by Indiana's hospitals and clinics fell to 30 last year from 41 in 2011, the Indiana State Department of Health said Monday.

According to the 2012 Medical Errors Report, stage three or stage four bed sores — known formally as pressure ulcers — have been the most common medical error in six of the seven years the report has been compiled. The average is about 30 incidents per year, the department said.

A total of 100 medical errors were reported — the same number as in 2011 — in a survey of Indiana's 289 hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, abortion clinics, and birthing centers, the department said.

"Medical errors are serious and preventable," State Health Commissioner Dr. William VanNess said in a news release. "I hope this report serves as a call to action to health care providers around the state to be even more vigilant in their attention to detail when caring for patients."

The other most common medical errors last year were 19 incidents of foreign objects left in patients after surgeries, 15 surgeries performed on the wrong body parts and 14 falls resulting in deaths or serious disabilities, the report said.

The report also noted seven deaths or serious disabilities associated with contaminated drugs, a number that coincides with the department's previous reports of seven people dying after an outbreak of fungal meningitis connected to injections of a back pain medication produced by a Massachusetts pharmacy.

Indiana had a total of 92 cases of fungal meningitis linked to the contaminated steroids administered at clinics in Columbus, Elkhart, Evansville, Fort Wayne, South Bend and Terre Haute.

The annual report is based on 28 "serious adverse events" identified by the National Quality Forum. Indiana in 2006 became the second state to adopt the group's reporting standards.


  • share the wealth
    Since you feel that way you can send me half your earnings if you really feel that guilty because your more successful then others I'm a blue color worker if you think the wealth should be shared you should start by down sizing and then give your extra money away. But what I've learned about people like that is they want to keep their quality of life and give somebody else's money away.
  • Not surprised one bit
    I was laid off from Community Health Network, East in fact in 2010. All they care about is profit and when I was there 9 CEO's were pulling down big bucks. And just 2 days ago they laid off all of their LPNs. These are the people that actually do the care because the RNs are sitting behind the desk doing paperwork. Healthcare is in one hell of a mess.
  • Not Surprised
    I am not surprised that bed sores are prevelant, even though the story reports that the incidents have declined. My teenage son was recently a surgery patient in one of the local well known pediatric hospitals. On day 3 of his hospitalization, my wife and I discovered the start of bed sores. The hospital staff, all well trained I am sure, completely failed to move him for two days, resulting in bed sores. They even failed to notice he had bed sores until we pointed it out. What we learned is never go into the hospital - any hospital - without a close relative or friend to be by your side as an advocate for your care. It took three weeks for the bed sores to heal. My wife and I are still angry with the hospital for their sloppy care. If we had not been there, who knows if they would have even noticed the bed sores.
    • Do More With Less
      Joe, How much of our national debt is attributable to spending on healthcare? Do you know? My guess is the wars we have been involved with the past 15 years have racked up much more debt. Priorities seem to be ut of whack, don't you think? Don't spend what you don't have. Pretty simple concept but too painful for any politician to embrace.
    • huh
      I guess you haven't heard that the country is broke - like 17 + trillion dollars broke....
      • I Guess So
        Joe, I think there are plenty of resources to go around. I don't think anyone should go without critical healthcare. So yes, I guess I will wait in line. I admit, I am getting far more liberal as I get older.
      • Pete
        The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other peoples money to spend.
      • Pete
        Pete - I am sure you won't mind standing in line behind a group of people who never paid a dime for their healthcare.
        • Yep
          When you are married to an OR nurse for 15 years it kind of makes you know a little more than the average Joe. I live in the US - not Europe, No need to compare.
        • Too Much Building
          Over the past 10+ years I have been shocked by the number of new hospitals, surgery centers, specialty practices, etc. that have been built around the city. My guess is very little of this was acutally necessary and we are now seeing the results of the overbuilding, i.e. rightsizing. The healthcare business is broken and has been for some time. We are headed for socialized medicine, which is fine by me. Everyone should have equal access to healthcare. Is it fair that I work for a large international corporation that has excellent benefits and others do not have the same access? I think it is the luck of the draw to a large extent. I was raised in a nice home with supportive parents who paid for my college education. I got pretty lucky. I think it is time the luckier ones share the wealth. Excesses need to be squeezed out of the health care system. It can and should be done.
          • Andrew
            You should go to Europe for your healthcare - you will appreciate the quality of care in this country much better. Sounds like you are an expert on what goes on behind the seens?
            • No wonder
              I have an acquaintance that has worked in surgery for years. If you heard about the environment these people work in...loud music, joking, long hours, etc....no wonder things get left behind. They get complacent in their job and stop paying attention.
            • Susan and joe
              Thin margins and breaking even - REALLY??? Have you not read about the multi-million dollar net profits reported by the area hospitals for 2012? That includes the "so-called" non-profit hospitals. And what about the Millions of Dollars that have been spent buying medical practices for more than they are actually worth? This expense has caused price increases for the same care that was provided previously. Oh, and I can't forget to mention the multi million dollar salaries for the CEOs, CFOs, and other top administration officials. This is not about providing good patient care. It is all a game of profiteering and the losers are ultimately the patients. If you two are employees of one of these hospital systems don't be fooled into believing their hype.
            • Hank
              Hank, I work for one of the mentioned networks in Susan's comment. The insurance companies may be doing well, but hospitals are being overrun with medicaid and uninsured patients, and the combination doesn't even break even with costs of running a hospital.
            • low margins?
              Really? When I was growing up 50 years ago Doctors didn't live in mansions, hospitals weren't national corporations, and insurance companies weren't reaping the profits they did today.
            • Susan
              Contrary to popular belief, hospitals are working on very thin margins, and are bracing for even worse conditions with the upcoming ACA. Would you prefer they just go out of business.
              • Staff reductions
                How can the area's local hospitals, Community Health Network, St. Vincent, IU, St Francis hope to keep errors down while laying off staff members such as LPNs and others? If the nursing floors are short staffed with enormous patient loads the errors will go up, not down. The hospitals are playing with fire and people's lives.

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