Seniors most at risk of medical errors

Quebec public registry shows increase of accidents and mistakes in health facilities

Some shocking numbers were released by Quebec’s Health Ministry Tuesday, showing that patients in Quebec hospitals and health facilities, especially the elderly, may not be as safe as we think.

The ministry’s public registry contains 227 597 medical errors and accidents between April and September of this year, a 10 000 case increase from all of last year, in just a six month period.

In 126 of those cases, the patients died.

More than half of the accidents, 52.3%, involved senior citizens.

Patient rights activist Paul Brunet says this is largely due to cutbacks.

“We are talking about a lot of falls, we will never replace the people we need to take the hand of the elderly and accompany them to where they need to go,” Brunet said.

“Families are entitled to be concerned about loved ones living in long term care homes, they are entitled to be involved and they should be, in order to ensure that these types of accidents do not happen as often as this report reveals,” Hélène Guay, a lawyer who specializes in elder care law, told CJAD.

Quebec is the only province that requires all health care facilities to report accidents, but the government’s public registry does not include all of the province's health centres.

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