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Going To Hospital Riskier Than Flying, World Health Organization Says | Daytona Beach Personal Injury Attorney

Going To Hospital Riskier Than Flying, World Health Organization Says

With the high number of medical errors and infections linked to health care in today’s hospitals, the World Health Organization’s newly appointed Envoy for Patient Safety says going to the hospital is riskier than flying.

“If you were admitted to hospital tomorrow in any country… your chances of being subjected to an error in your care would be something like 1 in 10. Your chances of dying due to an error in health care would be 1 in 300,” said Liam Donaldson, the WHO’s newly appointed envoy for patient safety, during a news briefing.

This compared with a risk of dying in an air crash of about 1 in 10 million passengers, according to Donaldson, formerly England’s chief medical officer. “It shows that health care generally worldwide still has a long way to go,” he said.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of patients worldwide are harmed or die while using health services. Data from from WHO and other sources indicates that patient safety incidents occur in anything between 4 to 16 percent of all hospitalized patients.

A recent WHO Report on the burden of endemic health care-associated infection worldwide estimates that such infections affect hundreds of millions of people globally. The burden is at least twice as high in developing countries compared to developed countries.

In many cases, this harm is preventable. WHO’s Patient Safety Program (formerly the World Alliance for Patient Safety) was established in 2004 to coordinate, facilitate and accelerate patient safety improvements around the world.

In its first seven years, the program has stimulated global awareness and knowledge about the importance of patient safety towards building and maintaining effective health systems and services.

WHO Patient Safety Program created the world’s only global “Patients for Patient Safety” movement, and obtained 124 country pledges to reduce health care-associated infection, The program also launched the world’s first ever “Safe Surgery Checklist”, used by more than 1500 hospitals. Its Patient safety curriculum guide enables undergraduates to learn about patient safety before going into clinical practice. Meanwhile 13,000 health-care settings worldwide have taken action to reduce infection rates through improved hand hygiene.

“We have come a long way in raising the world’s awareness of patient safety, but challenges still remain,” said Sir Liam in a WHO news release. “Health care has not achieved the level of safety of many other high-risk industries. Citizens of countries around the world find it incredible that errors lead to patients getting the wrong operation or the wrong medication, sometimes with fatal consequences. Lessons need to be learned from such tragedies and action taken. The WHO Patient Safety Program will be the cornerstone of a renewed effort globally to address these issues.”

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