Adverse Events Common During Stay in Hospital

One in 10 patients in U.K. hospitals adversely affected by preventable errors

MONDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- In U.K. hospitals, common, serious adverse events that could be prevented affect almost one in 10 patients, undermining quality of care and increasing the length of stay, researchers report in the December issue of Quality & Safety in Health Care.

Ali Baba-Akbari Sari, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Medical Sciences in Tehran, Iran, and colleagues conducted a study of 1,006 patients admitted to a large National Health Service hospital in the United Kingdom, of whom 311 were admitted for surgery, 251 for general medicine, 184 for geriatrics, 131 for orthopedics, 61 for urology and 68 for other specialties.

There were 87 adverse events (8.7 percent), including 27 (31 percent) that were preventable. While 15 percent led to impairment or disability lasting over six months, 10 percent contributed to patient mortality. Patients affected by adverse events stayed in the hospital a mean eight days longer than other patients.

"Around 8 percent to 10 percent of patients in NHS hospitals may experience some kind of adverse events, of which between 30 percent and 55 percent are to some extent preventable," the authors write. "Despite several limitations of casenote review, until a cheaper and more reliable method is designed it should be used for estimating the rate, preventability and consequences of adverse events, and for monitoring safety improvement strategies," the authors conclude.

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