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Friday, November 30, 2007


Whilst this news article was found in the UK press, it is not very much different here in the US. The difference most likely would be an increase in the numbers. Many US physicians and other health care professionals do read the BMJ.

This a very real cause for concern regarding the state of the health care system.

Over 90,000 patients die & almost 1 million are harmed each year in England because of hospital blunders. Errors in surgery, misdiagnoses and hospital-acquired infections are among the causes.

8.7 to 10% of hospital stays involve such mistakes & up to half were preventable.

Prof. Trevor Sheldon, author of the study, published in British Medical Journal said that a stay in hospital "is as risky as a bungee jump." 15% of the blunders led to impairment or disability lasting over 6 months. Prof. Sheldon said this is not limited to the NHS but is found in many health systems around the world. Peter Walsh of the charity "Action Against Medical Accidents" said the real figure could be much higher as the research does not include GP surgeries, ambulance trusts or mental health, & covers only England, not the whole of the UK.

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