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BMJ. 2001 Mar 3;322(7285):517-9.

Adverse events in British hospitals: preliminary retrospective record review.

Author information

  • 1Clinical Risk Unit, Department of Psychology, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK. c.vincent@ucl.ac.uk

Erratum in

  • BMJ 2001 Jun 9;322(7299):1395.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To examine the feasibility of detecting adverse events through record review in British hospitals and to make preliminary estimates of the incidence and costs of adverse events.

DESIGN:

Retrospective review of 1014 medical and nursing records.

SETTING:

Two acute hospitals in Greater London area.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

Number of adverse events.

RESULTS:

110 (10.8%) patients experienced an adverse event, with an overall rate of adverse events of 11.7% when multiple adverse events were included. About half of these events were judged preventable with ordinary standards of care. A third of adverse events led to moderate or greater disability or death.

CONCLUSIONS:

These results suggest that adverse events are a serious source of harm to patients and a large drain on NHS resources. Some are major events; others are frequent, minor events that go unnoticed in routine clinical care but together have massive economic consequences.

Comment in

PMID:
11230064
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC26554
Free PMC Article
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