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Study Indicates Preventable Errors in NC Hospitals Not Improving

By Martin & Jones on November 29, 2010

One in five patients are unintentionally injured by the care they receive in hospitals with little improvement in those statistics with the passage of time. That is the conclusion of a new study to be released by the New England Journal of Medicine the New York Times reports. The study of ten North Carolina hospitals found that 18% of patients experienced one or more “safety-related inciden[ces]” including fifty life-threatening events and fourteen deaths. The findings included that most injuries were preventable.

The study, headed by Christopher P. Landrigan, M.D., M.P.H., a researcher at Harvard Medical School’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston covered a six year span in which little improvement in the number of such events were achieved. “The most common problems were complications from procedures or drugs and hospital-acquired infections,” but also noted were incidences of excessive bleeding during surgery, injuries from falls by patients, diagnostic mistakes and medication overdoses among others.

The study concluded that “[its] findings validate concern raised by patient-safety experts in the United States… and Europe.. that harm resulting from medical care remains very common.”