Adverse events in the healthcare system

May 12, 2023 | Crandall & Pera Law
Adverse events in the healthcare system

Adverse events may be defined as unintended physical harm caused by medical care that requires subsequent treatment, hospitalization, monitoring, or proves to be fatal. According to the National Practitioner Data Bank, Ohio had the third-highest number of adverse action reports in the U.S. in 2022. While there were over 2,200 adverse action reports, Ohio only issued 224 medical malpractice payments, the tenth-most in the U.S. during 2022.

Adverse events and medical errors

A 2023 study from the New England Journal of Medicine found that one in four patients are likely to experience at least one adverse event. Out of 2,809 patient admissions from 2018, researchers found 978 adverse events. Among the 663 patients experiencing at least one adverse event, 31% had serious adverse events, over 4% faced life-threatening events and seven patients suffered from a fatal adverse event. Adverse events are most common with males and elderly patients.

More on adverse events

Researchers found that over one in five adverse events is preventable. Over 32% of the adverse events were rated as serious or more severe. In the study, close to 40% of the total found were adverse drug events, over 30% were surgical or other procedural events, 15% involved patient care and nearly 12% were attributed to infections associated with the hospital. Adverse events and medical errors have been prevalent issues in the healthcare sector for over 30 years. The statute of limitations in Ohio provides patients with one year to file a medical malpractice lawsuit after a medical error has occurred. This one-year statute begins on the date the injury was discovered or the date the patient-doctor relationship ended, whichever is later. Generally speaking, the outside deadline for the statute of limitations on medical malpractice cases in Ohio is set at four years.