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Published January 31, 2013, 12:00 AM

Report: Serious falls rise at Minnesota hospitals

MINNEAPOLIS — An annual report says a rise in serious falls was the main reason for an increase in accidental deaths and serious injuries to patients at Minnesota hospitals last year.

MINNEAPOLIS — An annual report says a rise in serious falls was the main reason for an increase in accidental deaths and serious injuries to patients at Minnesota hospitals last year.

The Health Department report says total number of “adverse health events” in 2012 remained about the same as in 2011 — 314. But deaths from these incidents rose from five in 2011 to 14, and there were 89 serious injuries, up from 84.

Pressure ulcers, including bedsores, were the most commonly reported problem, but falls accounted for nearly 90 percent of the serious injuries or deaths. There were 79 falls in 2012, up 11 percent, and resulted in 73 serious injuries and six deaths.

Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger says the report shows Minnesota needs to redouble its efforts to reduce falls.

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