Government & Policy
NS Health Authority releases ‘serious reportable events’
October 19, 2016
HALIFAX – In April and June of this year, 18 people died or suffered serious disabilities as a result of care they received in Nova Scotia’s healthcare system. Another 10 suffered death or serious disability due to suicide or suicide attempts.
According to a CBC News report, the numbers were released under the province’s serious reportable event interim reporting policy, which was created in April 2013. The province’s Health Department does not provide details of the events, but instead releases aggregate information classified into broad categories.
Categories include patient falls, misdiagnoses, and problems during labour and delivery. As well, four patients died or suffered serious disabilities due to “environmental events.”
Serious events are normally reported for the entire province. But this time, a separate figure was mistakenly provided for the region’s only children’s hospital, the IWK Health Centre.
The IWK reported one medical error – a foreign object left behind after surgery.
“Reporting the numbers separately was an error,” said Tracy Barron, spokeswoman for the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness. “The website has now been updated to reflect one provincial number for the NSHA and IWK.”
The province tracks 35 types of adverse medical events. Of those, 21 have never been reported, including surgeries done on the wrong person, newborns discharged with the wrong adults, and physical or sexual assaults against patients.
The incidents reported were:
- 6 severe bed sores
- 4 unspecified ‘environmental’ events
- 2 surgical instruments left behind
- 2 patient falls
- 4 other events
- 10 suicides or attempts