Dumb ways to . . . end up in hospital

Last updated 05:00 16/06/2014

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Lawnmowers are far more dangerous than guns, and your humble bed is downright treacherous.

Ministry of Health figures for every one of the nearly 200,000 hospital discharges throughout the country from July 2011 to June 2012 show we suffered a wide variety of misfortune over the 12 months.

During the year recorded, six people ended up in hospital after accidentally choking or suffocating in their beds, while more than 200 had a nasty run-in with their lawnmower.

Serious dogs bites were about three time as common as wasp or bee stings. And, going purely on the numbers, trees appear safer than stairs if you want to avoid a nasty tumble.

Once you are in hospital, there is also a reasonable chance you will suffer further injuries, with more than 68,000 people discharged after suffering injuries arising from their medical or surgical care.

In most cases, no-one was at fault, but in 3207 instances people were injured as result of medical error.

For 76 unfortunate individuals, this included having medical equipment left in their bodies after surgery.

Mishaps in getting from A to B also accounted for a sizeable chunk of hospitalisations, with 14,543 people injured in transport accidents.

Nearly a third were in cars when they were hurt, but more than 1000 pedestrians also ended up in hospital after a transport-related collision.

In the year, nearly 6000 people were admitted to hospital after being assaulted, usually punched, kicked or pushed.

However, that was still fewer than the 6855 people who put themselves in hospital after intentionally hurting themselves.

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- The Dominion Post


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