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AHRQ Report Finds Hospital Admissions Increasing for Surgical, Medical Care Complications

March 3, 2006 -- More patients are being admitted to hospitals because of complications from surgery or medical treatment, according to HHS' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

The number of patients with such complications rose from 305,000 in 1993 to 452,000 in 2003, the agency stated in a news release. Of these, the number admitted through hospital emergency departments rose from 98,000 in 1993, or 32 percent of all cases, to 211,000 in 2003, or 47 percent of all cases.

Meanwhile, the average cost to hospitals for treating surgical or medical complications rose from $6,840 in 1993 to $9,600 in 2003, according to AHRQ.

According to AHRQ, complications from surgery can include postoperative infections, while complications from other medical care can result from extended bed rest, including lung embolism, dangerously low blood pressure, or a collapsed lung.

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