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New Research Confirms Patients Still Frequently Harmed By Hospital Errors That Could Have Been Prevented
In a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers reported that harm resulting from medical care was “common,” with approximately 1 in 5 patients harmed after admission to the hospital. The study found that some patients are harmed more than once, and that a significant majority (63.1%) of the injuries could have been prevented.
The researchers commented that their findings as to the frequency of medical errors were unfortunately not surprising:
Our findings validate concern raised by patient-safety experts in the United States and Europe that harm resulting from medical care remains very common. Though disappointing, the absence of apparent improvement is not entirely surprising. Despite substantial resource allocation and efforts to draw attention to the patient-safety epidemic on the part of government agencies, health care regulators, and private organizations, the penetration of evidence-based safety practices has been quite modest.
This study represents one of the most important reports on patient safety since a landmark report in 1999 found that as many as 98,000 deaths and more than 1 million injuries a year are caused by medical errors in the United States.
Among the preventable injuries that the researchers identified were severe bleeding during a surgery, serious breathing trouble caused by a procedure that was performed incorrectly, a fall that dislocated a patient’s hip and damaged a nerve, and vaginal cuts caused by a vacuum device used to help deliver a baby.
You can read this article here: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsa1004404#t=articleResults.
Post by Jeff Powless, patient safety attorney