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Nearly 25% of Patients Experience Harm in U.S. Hospitals

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When you go to a hospital, you believe you are being cared for and treated in the best way possible. However, a recent study shows this is not the case. New England Journal of Medicine recently released a report revealing that nearly 1 in 4 patients admitted to U.S. hospitals will experience harm during their stay. The report suggested and encouraged the importance of patient safety and the need for constant improvement.

“These numbers are disappointing, but not shocking,” said lead study author Dr. David Bates to NBC News. “They do show we still have lots of work to do.”

Overall, a total of 222 adverse events were considered preventable. Those included:

  • 40% related to medications given in the hospital
  • 30% from surgery and other procedures
  • 15% for “patient-care events,” which include falls and bedsores
  • 12% of infections acquired in the hospital

Due to previous errors, drug companies have made significant advances over the last 30 years since this last report was published. Unfortunately, this does not mean that all adverse events are preventable.

With hospitals already short-staffed due to the COVID-19 pandemic strikes, a lack of available nurses can be potentially harmful to patients.

“Since we’ve been doing research on patient safety, we consistently find that one of the major explanations for poor patient outcomes is insufficient numbers of nurses at the bedside,” said Linda Aiken, a professor and the founding director of the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at Penn Nursing in Philadelphia. “Having a sufficient number of nurses is a building block for safety.”

Contact Elk + Elk

Medical malpractice injures thousands of people every year in the U.S. While hospitals have established protocols to improve patient safety, medical errors continue to happen. Our medical malpractice attorneys are dedicated to providing victims with superior legal care. Call 1-800-ELK-OHIO or visit us online.