Beebe and O'Neil

Hospital errors rise to record numbers in Connecticut

When any Connecticut resident needs to be treated at a hospital or medical center, he or she should be able to expect quality care without the risk of further complications from a doctor error. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Preventable medical mistakes have gravely injured or killed countless patients across the country.

This appears to be a serious problem in Connecticut. According to Connecticut Health I-Team, numerous hospitals across the state reported more than 500 adverse medical events in 2013, doubling the numbers of mistakes from 2012. Patient falls, perforations during surgical procedures and medication mistakes reportedly had the largest increases. Foreign objects left in patients’ bodies after surgery caused the most significant damage, usually resulting in either a serious injury or death. Wrong-site surgery was another adverse event that increased. Many of Connecticut’s largest hospitals reported the highest numbers of mistakes. However, since adverse events are voluntarily reported, it is unknown if other facilities concealed incidents of negligence.

In fact, cover-ups may be a problem among medical centers across the country, since there are currently no national standards for reporting errors. The National Center for Biotechnology Information states that doctors or medical centers may conceal their mistakes out of embarrassment or fearing a loss of reputation. Others worry that enacting mandatory reporting procedures might encourage more people to file lawsuits.

When a patient suffers from a surgical error, mistake in diagnosis, medication error or any other event that results in a worsened condition, he or she may be eligible for compensation. Medical facilities may be held responsible in medical malpractice cases when those who trust them are harmed instead.

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