National / Science & Health

Japan sees record number of medical accidents in 2018

Kyodo

The number of medical accidents reported in the nation hit a record high of 4,565 cases in 2018, up 470 from the previous year, a nonprofit organization that compiles such data said Wednesday.

The Japan Council for Quality Health Care, which began compiling the records in 2005, said the latest figures show the reporting of medical mishaps has taken root in the country.

The data covers cases, including instances of malpractice, in which patients died or where their conditions required more treatment than initially expected.

In 2018, 4,030 cases, or nearly 90 percent, were reported by state-run or university hospitals, and other medical institutions obliged to make such reports under the Medical Care Law.

A total of 293 cases, or 7.3 percent, resulted in deaths, while 427 cases, or 10.6 percent, left patients with a high chance of permanent disabilities.

By accident type, those related to recovery care topped the list with 1,366 cases, or 33.9 percent, followed by 1,113 cases related to treatments.

By region, Kanto-Koshinetsu had the highest number of cases reported at 1,320, while Hokkaido had the lowest at 62 cases.