Study Finds No Progress in Safety at Hospitals

Efforts to make hospitals safer are proving ineffective. A large study conducted between 2002 and 2007 found that harm to patients was still common, and that the number of incidents was not decreasing over time.

Identified preventable problems included severe bleeding during an operation, breathing trouble caused by an improperly performed procedure, a fall that caused nerve damage and a dislocated hip, and vaginal cuts caused by a vacuum device during a birthing procedure.

The New York Times reports:

“... [I]nstead of improvements, the researchers found a high rate of problems. About 18 percent of patients were harmed by medical care, some more than once, and 63.1 percent of the injuries were judged to be preventable.”

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