Quality & Patient Safety

United Kingdom: Recorded hospital errors rise 60% in just two years

Patient Safety Monitor: Global Edition, January 20, 2009

According to figures obtained by The Daily Mail, 3,645 patients have died in the 2007/2008 year as a result of infection outbreaks, surgical errors, and other mistakes. This is up 60% from 2,275 deaths two years before.

The figures, uncovered by the United Kingdom's Liberal Democratic party, have shown that 385 patients died last year because of adverse surgical errors and 156 died because of misdiagnosis and wrongfully read and scanned charts. The figures also reveal 487 patients killed themselves on hospital grounds due to depression that went undiagnosed by physicians, according to the Daily Mail.

Many experts predict the numbers will continue to rise as facilities begin recording more patient safety incidents.

"The [National Health Service] sees a million people every 36 hours. Unfortunately, as in any health service, mistakes and unforeseen incidents will occasionally happen," a Department of Health spokesperson told the Daily Mail.

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