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Hospital stays are more dangerous than flying - WHO

Latest figures which have been released from the World Health Organisation (WHO) have shown that going into hospital is riskier than flying on a passen...

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|Jul 26|magazine7 min read

Latest figures which have been released from the World Health Organisation (WHO) have shown that going into hospital is riskier than flying on a passenger jet.

The WHO is blaming numerous medical errors and high levels of infection for causing millions of patient deaths across the world every year.

A report released by the WHO has estimated that one in 10 hospital patients are at risk of being subjected to a hospital error.

Meanwhile, the WHO estimates that one in 300 patients will die as a result of such carelessness.

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These figures are much higher than the risks that are associated with flying; it is thought that just one in 10 million people will die in a plane crash.

Liam Donaldson, the envoy for patient safety, said: “Healthcare is a high-risk business, inevitably, because people are sick and modern health care is delivered in a fast-moving, high-pressured environment involving a lot of complex technology and a lot of people.

“Infection is a big problem, injuries after falls in hospitals is a big problem and then there are problems that are on a smaller scale but result in preventable deaths. Medication errors are common.”

Experts believe that approximately half of all infections that are picked up by patients in hospitals are preventable if doctors and nurses use soaps and hand sanitiser gels before touching patients.

They are also sure that the longer patients stay in hospitals and intensive care wards, the more at-risk they are of picking up infections.  

The WHO is now urging hospitals across the world to adhere to its surgical safety checklist and to follow basic hygiene standards.