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Mass. Discloses Hospital Errors, Infections

The state has issued its second annual report tallying the number of medical errors and infections that occur at Massachusetts hospitals.

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The report shows there were 383 "serious reportable events" at hospitals statewide last year. They range from medication errors to bed sores to surgical instruments left inside patients. More than half — 52 percent — involved patients falling.

State officials acknowledge an increase over the previous year, but they say that's partly due to hospitals being more vigilant about reporting errors.

For the first time, the state is also reporting the annual number of infections picked up in Massachusetts hospitals; there were 257 cases from July 2008 through June 2009.

Health officials say they're making it a priority to try to eliminate medical errors and infections in hospitals statewide.

This program aired on April 14, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

Sacha Pfeiffer Twitter Host, All Things Considered
Sacha Pfeiffer was formerly the host of WBUR's All Things Considered.

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