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.”