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Over 85,000 'adverse events' recorded by HSE in 2011

The numbers include almost 10,000 incidents of violence, harassment, aggression and abuse.

File photo
File photo
Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

THERE WERE OVER 85,000 ‘adverse events’ reported in Irish hospitals and community-based healthcare facilities in 2011, new figures released by the Health Service Executive (HSE) and the State Claims Agency have revealed.

The definition, as used by the groups, covers ‘near misses, where no harm was caused, to delays in access to services, to damage to a patient’s health and well-being’.

The exact figure of 85,918 resulted from the approximate 4.5 million patient interactions in Ireland last year.

(Adverse events for 2011, by category – 2011 Report)

The total adverse events reported for 2010 was 83,483. The 2011 figures, however, include figures for previously unrecorded events such as trips or falls in car parks and injuries involving vehicles operated by the HSE.

Slips, trips and falls accounted for almost one-third of all adverse events in 2011, with unsupervised patient falls accounting for almost half of these, at 13,130.

In ‘other categories’, there were 1,922 incidents related to equipment or devices and 437 incidents related to issues of consent and confidentiality.

The HSE National Director of Quality and Patient Safety, Dr Phillip Crowley, said:

Healthcare organisations with a high level of reporting of adverse events have a better patient safety profile than those that report less. There is now clear evidence of an enhanced culture of reporting within the HSE and the wider health service.
International data suggests that approximately one in ten hospital in-patients will experience some harm during their treatment and the report published today is in line with incident reporting statistics internationally.

To see the adverse event breakdown by category for 2011, click here.

To see the adverse event breakdown by category for 2010, click here.

Read: Three HSE staff dismissed over “very poor attendance records” >

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Paul Hyland

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