How Safe Are Hospitals? Study Reveals Shocking Information Regarding Patient Safety

Most of us don’t give safety a second thought when we’re at the hospital. Whether we are the ones in the hospital beds or are visiting sick loved ones, we trust that the medical staff is doing their job. We don’t worry about medication errors, infection or other injuries.

A recent study published in The New England Journal of Medicine might shock you.

According to researchers, about 18 percent of patients studied were harmed by medical care. Even more disheartening than this finding was that some injuries were fatal.

What is causing such a high hospital injury rate?
Dr. Christopher P. Landrigan, the lead author of the study who is also an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, was anything but surprised by the findings of the study. The New York Times reports that “many of the problems were caused by the hospitals’ failure to use measures that had been proved to avert mistakes and to prevent infections from devices like urinary catheters, ventilators and lines inserted into veins and arteries.”

The study involved 10 North Carolina hospitals and spanned from 2002 to 2007. These hospitals were chosen because North Carolina is believed to be a leader in improving patient safety.

Study follows notorious 1999 report.
This most recent study follows a major report from 1999, which revealed that medical errors caused as many as 98,000 deaths and over one million injuries annually in the United States. The findings prompted a huge movement to lower the rate of medical mistakes to make hospitals safer for patients.

According to Dr. Robert M. Wachter, the chief of hospital of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, when it comes to patient safety, “we need to do more, and to do it more quickly.”

Hospital patients have rights.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a New Hampshire or Vermont hospital, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact an experienced New Hampshire medical malpractice attorney at our office today at (603) 556-4148. We will review your case and help you get to the bottom of what went wrong. Our lawyers represent clients in Western New Hampshire and Eastern Vermont.

Be sure to order a FREE copy of our book, The Essential Guide to Your Vermont or New Hampshire Accident Case.


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