Most Hospital Errors in Developing Countries Preventable

Most Hospital Errors in Developing Countries Preventable
Most Hospital Errors in Developing Countries Preventable

(HealthDay News) – Nearly 10% of patients admitted to a hospital in a developing country experience at least one adverse event, most of which are preventable and are largely due to inadequate training and supervision rather than an absence of resources.

Ross M. Wilson, MD, from the New York City Health and Hospital Corporation, and colleagues randomly sampled 15,548 patient records from 26 hospitals during 2005 in eight developing countries in the Middle East and Africa.

The researchers found that 8.2% of records showed at least one adverse event (range, 2.5–18.4% per country). Most (83%) were deemed preventable and about 30% were linked to patient death. About 34% were therapeutic errors that occurred under relatively non-complex clinical circumstances. Most adverse events were attributed to insufficient training and supervision of clinical staff, or failure to follow policies or protocols, rather than an absence of essential resources.

"Unsafe patient care represents a serious and considerable danger to patients in the hospitals that were studied, and hence should be a high priority public health problem," Wilson and colleagues conclude. "Prevention of these adverse events will be complex and involves improving basic clinical processes and does not simply depend on the provision of more resources."

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