New study: half of all damage caused by medical errors could be prevented

New study: half of all damage caused by medical errors could be prevented

We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

Many medical mistakes can be avoided

Researchers have now announced that half of all injuries, disabilities, and even deaths that occur as a result of medical errors can be prevented.

The University of Manchester's recent investigation found that about half of all injuries, disabilities, and deaths due to medical errors could be prevented. The results of the study were published in the English-language journal "BMJ".

Twelve percent of patients suffer damage from incorrect treatment

The review of 70 different studies showed that twelve percent of patients around the world suffer some degree of damage during their treatment. Half of these cases, six percent of patients, could have been prevented by improved diagnosis, better surgical techniques, or infection prevention, the authors of the current study report. Damage caused by treatment errors is a leading international cause of morbidity and mortality, the researchers explain. The health impact of the resulting damage can even be compared to diseases such as multiple sclerosis and cancer.

Avoidable damage leads to high costs

Avoidable damage not only affects patient safety, it is also very expensive for healthcare. The costs of mistreatment are enormous. In English hospitals alone, only six specific types of preventable damage cost the equivalent of more than 2,000 general practitioners or 3,500 nurses per year.

Not all damage can be avoided

But not all injuries that occur during treatment are avoidable. For example, even after careful calculation, a patient may react negatively to the dose of their medication. The 70 analyzes analyzed had a total of 337,025 patients and were carried out over a period of 19 years. The studies analyzed damage from mistreatment that occurred as a direct result of the therapy rather than the patient's underlying condition. Most studies defined patient damage as avoidable if it had a clear cause and could actually be avoided in the future, for example through better drug management. Almost half (49 percent) of the cases involved medication errors, while the number of surgical accidents was 23 percent and the number of infections 16 percent. Avoidable damage mostly occurred in surgical or intensive care units.

More research is needed

The researchers explained that the studies differed in the assessment of the damage, which could affect the reliability of the results of their review. Further research is needed to find out how the assessment and recording of these events can be improved. (as)

More interesting articles on this topic can be found here:

  • Treatment errors: definition, examples and help
  • Study: Hundreds of common medical practices are outdated and ineffective
  • Fatal error: patient dies in hospital after confusing medication

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Maria Panagioti, Kanza Khan, Richard N Keers, Aseel Abuzour, Denham Phipps et al .: Prevalence, severity, and nature of preventable patient harm across medical care settings: systematic review and meta-analysis, in BMJ (query: 19.07.2019) , BMJ

Video: The Virus Qu0026A: Your questions answered (August 2022).