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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Hospital acquired infections or medical errors are more likely to cause death than extreme sports like high-altitude mountaineering and bungee-jumping

NHS hospitals more dangerous than bungee-jumping
Article in the Sunday Telegraph


"The risks from infection, mistakes over drugs and failings in care mean that nearly one in 100 patients admitted to an NHS hospital will die an avoidable death, compared with one in 1,000 of those taking part in dangerous sports.

The findings define health care as a "hazardous activity" for patients and compare it unfavourably with air travel and the nuclear power industry, both of which carry a one in 100,000 risk.

The research, which was compiled by the NHS National Patient Safety Agency and the health care charity, the Health Foundation, reveals that up to 104,000 patients die each year as a result of poor infection management and basic medical errors."

I'd say this is a gross underestimate of the harm done by hospitals and by doctors.