About one in twelve patients around the world suffer from medical errors – and half of the errors are preventable, according to a new study.
Tragically, these failures are preventable, but about 12 percent of patients are permanently disabled or dead.
Human errors, misjudgments, and unpredictable misbehavior can never be completely eliminated, but the goal in medicine is to do so as close as possible The University of Manchester published more than 335,000 patient records on Wednesday.
To err is human, but can be devastating in a hospital environment. More than 8% of patients worldwide are affected by medical errors. Half of these errors are avoidable and 12 percent prove fatal. This resulted in a new study of international data.
Accidental injuries are generally the third leading cause of death in the US. In 2016, however, two experts went so far as to argue. First of all, these medical mistakes fill this gloomy slot.
It is estimated that about 200,000 to 400,000 Americans die each year from medical errors.
Such errors include a variety of causes, including everything from unpredictable poor drug reactions to gross surgical errors, such as performing a wrong surgery on a patient.
Doctors swear the oath to do no harm first. When they graduate from medical school and get their white coats.
Patients must put their trust in their physicians and healthcare providers to do what they swore.
However, new research published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) found that out of 337,025 patients seen between 2000 and 2009, doctors and nurses made mistakes in treating six percent or 20,221.5 people.
The World Health Organization considers mental, physiological and social harm due to medical errors, in addition to permanent disabilities and deaths, to be on the shoulders of doctors and nurses.
In their new study, researchers at the University of Manchester pointed out that about as many people claimed to have suffered damage in the course of their medical "care", as they suffer from chronic diseases such as multiple sclerosis in industrialized nations.
And those numbers are probably underestimated.
Hospitals are required by law to report medical errors that occur when a patient is under observation – but this does not mean that the standard is met.
Doctors have to admit mistakes, sometimes deadly ones.
Earlier research suggests that six out of seven such failures in the US are not reported.
In the decade that researchers at the University of Manchester analyzed, more patients were likely to suffer from medical errors.
Based on their analysis, the authors of the study estimated that about half of these injuries, mental trauma, infections, and other errors could have been avoided.
Most errors were made in the hospital and concerned either a wrong drug or other therapeutic or a surgical mistake.
As 12 percent of patients died as a result of these errors, researchers called for more patient safety practice and accountability.
"Our findings confirm that preventable harm to patients in healthcare is a serious problem," they write.
They called for better procedures to prevent such obvious – but life-threatening – mistakes such as drug misuse and to ensure that doctors and nurses actually get clean if their mistakes hurt the patient.