Patient Safety – Causes of Patients’ Death
Today, when technologies are developing so quickly that the human mind does not have time to study them, or even comprehend, the issue of security is relevant where it has not been raised before. For example, when smartphones were invented, no one seriously discussed their safety until they accidentally turned out to be a smartphone with a self-ignition function: the question had to be rethought in order to avoid spontaneous launch of a new function in a trouser pocket or, for example, on an airplane.
On the other hand, 1 out of 300 patients are at risk of injury while providing medical care. This is a very disturbing statistic. Moreover, it differs little from country to country: in the United States, mortality as a result of medical error takes the third place among all causes, after diseases of the circulatory system and cancer, ahead of the paralogy of the lungs and even injuries. As a result of medical errors in the United States, 250,000 people die each year, which is 9.5% of the total number of deaths.
According to estimates by the World Health Organization, in developed countries, the health of every 10th patient is injured during a hospital stay. And it’s not just about incorrect diagnoses or incorrect prescriptions of medications; there are cases when a patient simply did the wrong operation.
A safe hospital environment is an environment that best provides both the patient and the healthcare professional with the comfort conditions that effectively meet all of their vital needs.
Extent of harm to patients
Every year, millions of patients suffer or die as a result of unsafe or poor health care. There are a number of practices and risk factors that pose a major threat to patient safety and lead to significant increases in harm from unsafe health care. Below are examples of some of the most common mistakes that can cause harm to patients.
- Drug misuse is the leading cause of harm to health in health systems, with drug misuse estimated at $ 42 billion annually.
- Nosocomial infections that contract 7 out of 100 inpatients in high-income countries and 10 out of 100 in low- and middle-income countries.
- Failure to comply with safety rules in the provision of surgical care is the cause of complications in almost 25% of patients. Almost 7 million patients in surgical departments suffer from severe complications every year, 1 million of whom die during or immediately after surgery.
- Failure to adhere to safe injection practices during health care can transmit infections, including HIV and hepatitis B and C, and put patients and healthcare workers at immediate risk. It is estimated that this cause accounts for 9.2 million disability-adjusted life-years lost each year worldwide.
- Diagnostic errors, which occur in about 5% of adult outpatients and in more than half of cases, have serious consequences. In the course of life, most people encounter errors in making a diagnosis.
- Failure to comply with safety rules when performing blood transfusion exposes patients to the risk of adverse reactions to blood transfusion and transmission of infections. Adverse reactions to blood transfusions reported in 21 countries in the sample have an incidence of 8.7 serious adverse reactions per 100,000 blood component transfusions.
- Errors in the use of radiation methods include exceeding the radiation dose and performing the radiation therapy procedure not on the tissue allocated for irradiation. Analysis of published data on the safety of radiation therapy over 30 years has shown that the overall error rate is 15 cases per 10,000 treatment courses.
- Sepsis, which is often diagnosed too late, when it is no longer possible to save the patient’s life. Because infections that cause sepsis are often antibiotic resistant, they can rapidly deteriorate a patient’s clinical condition; an estimated 31 million patients worldwide develop sepsis each year and cause 5 million deaths.
- Venous thromboembolism (blood clots) is one of the most common and preventable causes of harm to patients, accounting for a third of all hospital-related complications. An estimated 3.9 million cases occur each year in high-income countries, and 6 million cases of venous thromboembolism in low- and middle-income countries.
Patient safety is fundamental to universal health coverage.
Patient safety in the context of safe and high-quality health services is essential for strengthening health systems and successfully achieving de facto universal health coverage as part of the Sustainable Development Goal (Ensure healthy lives and promote health and well-being for all at all ages).
Tags: diseases, health, healthcare