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Medical errors on the rise in Minnesota

Plus: more snow expected Friday; Minnesota House committee passes ‘red flag’ gun bill; guns, drugs found in home of county commissioner in western Minnesota; and more.

REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

MPR’s Marianne Combs reports: “Medical errors are on the rise in Minnesota, according to a report out Friday from the Minnesota Department of Health. This past year, the numbers were the highest since hospitals began tracking 15 years ago. From October 2017 to October 2018, there were 384 “adverse health events.” They included 118 serious injuries and 11 deaths. Five of the deaths were the result of serious falls; three were newborns who were expected to have a healthy delivery; two were medication errors; and one death was a suicide.”

In the Star Tribune, Christopher Snowbeck writes, “The overall cost of health care in Minnesota grew at a relatively low rate during 2016, according to a new state report, but the broader trend points toward a likely doubling of expenses over the next decade. Total health costs in 2016 came in at $47.1 billion, a 4 percent increase over the previous year, according to the annual study by the Minnesota Department of Health. … Long-term projections, however, suggest annual health care spending over the next decade will double to $94.2 billion in 2026.”

In the Star Tribune, Paul Douglas says: “March will come in like a lion today as another batch of snow drifts across the state. There will be more accumulations and your commutes times will likely be slowed once again.”

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From the AP: “A Minnesota House committee has passed a proposed ‘red flag’ law that would allow families and police to get court orders to temporarily remove guns from people judged to be an imminent danger to themselves or others. The House public safety committee approved the bill 10-7 along party lines Thursday. The same panel on Wednesday night approved another gun control bill , to require universal criminal background checks on all gun purchases.”

Stribber Libor Jany reports, “Minneapolis police are on pace to respond to a record number of suspected drug overdoses compared to last year, according to department projections. Officers have encountered 210 suspected drug overdoses as of February’s end, with early department projections showing the city on a pace to easily top last year’s tally of 954 calls. Nineteen happened this week alone. If the current pace keeps up, department officials predict the city will end with more than 1,300 overdose calls by the end the year, eclipsing 2018 by nearly 40 percent.”

For City Pages, Mike Mullen writes, “Minnesotans reading this story are either under federal indictment for terrorism, or will someday soon be murdered by a terrorist. This is the perception of Fox News ‘commentator’ Tomi Lahren, who took to the airwaves to voice her fear about our cold-but-otherwise-cool state yesterday.”

And then this, from KDLT-TV, “A county commissioner in Lincoln County, Minnesota is behind bars. Minnesota law enforcement executed a search warrant on a home in Hendricks, Minnesota early Wednesday morning. Inside, they found 55 firearms, ammunition, marijuana, methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. Rick Hamer, 60, was taken into custody.”

Says Eric Challoux for KSTP-TV: “Residents in one southwest Minneapolis neighborhood will become eligible for noise reduction home improvement work next year following a new report from the Metropolitan Airports Commission. The report, released Thursday, moves the zone of eligibility surrounding Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to include an additional 243 homes near Lake Harriet. Brad Juffer of the MAC said more planes have been placed on one runway that routes them over the Lake Harriet neighborhood, which is behind the increase in noise there.”