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Medical errors can cause irreparable harm to a person’s quality of life. These issues continue to occur within healthcare institutions across Canada and the University Health Network’s (UHN) new president and CEO recently took a stand to remedying the situation.

 

At his first annual general meeting in June, the UHN released a thought provoking video that details some of the issues patients have faced in hospitals. The video calls for a national discussion into the issue and eliminating these problems from occurring.

The video shares some shocking statistics including the fact that over the last two decades, 485 objects were left by Canadian surgeons in their patients. These objects can lead to patients experiencing constant pain with no idea as to why and it’s an unfortunately common surgical error.

Also, the video shared that in 2014, an estimated 100,000 patients suffered a slip and fall in a Canadian hospital. For a young, healthy individual, this fall may only result in a bruise, but for a senior or someone suffering from an illness, this incident could lead to a hip fracture that could severely limit their movement.

At a time when Ebola continues to be at the top of mind for many Canadians, 200,000 patients developed infections they didn’t have before entering the healthcare institution. Many hospital visitors already face compromised health situations and their bodies are vulnerable to bacteria and viruses, which makes it more difficult for them to recover. Even before Ebola, many Canadians remember the SARs outbreak which spread throughout healthcare institutions.

The problem is that these adverse events are preventable and they also cost Canadians more than $396 million a year.

Canadians are blissfully unaware of the number of deaths caused by medical errors in hospitals with people surveyed estimating only 500 deaths a year are caused by mistakes. In fact, 30,277 Canadians died in 2014 as a result of medical mistakes.

The number of deaths is equal to one patient dying every 17 minutes while being cared for in a hospital, which is greater than the combined deaths caused by stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and kidney disease.

“We are famous for what we have done,” Dr. Pisters told the UHN AGM attendees. “We need to be famous for what we will do.”

Canadians deserve quality healthcare and we should be able to expect that any information shared with our healthcare providers will only be accessed by staff who can assist us with our diagnosis and treatment. This is an important conversation for healthcare providers to have in order for them to provide good care to patients.

The personal injury and accident lawyers at Neinstein have been handling all types of injuries for 45 years including injuries from medical malpractice. We understand the impacts injuries can have on your life and we know how to help you. Call us at 416-920-4242. Set up a free consultation and come talk with us.

Greg Neinstein

Greg Neinstein, B.A. LLB., is the Managing Partner at Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers LLP. His practice focuses on serious injury and complex insurance claims, including motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall injuries, long-term disability claims and insurance claims. Greg has extensive mediation and trial experience and has a reputation among his colleagues as a skillful negotiator.
Greg Neinstein