Medical mistakes claim lives

01:39, Nov 21 2012

Three people have died as a result of medical mistakes by the Taranaki District Health Board in the past year.

And, the number of serious medical mistakes recorded in Taranaki has leapt from three last year to 18 this year.

Taranaki's three deaths were a brain injury victim delayed in transfer from a satellite hospital to Taranaki Base Hospital, a patient who was sent away from the Emergency Department on three occasions and the suicide of a mental health inpatient released on leave.

The Taranaki District Health Board claims the jump in serious errors is due to a change in how events were reported.

The errors were outlined yesterday in the national Quality Improvement Committee's Sentinel and Serious Events in New Zealand Hospitals 2011-12.

Taranaki's 18 cases are among 360 reported across the country for the 2011-12 year, down 3 per cent from 370 last year.

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