Poor hospitals ‘threaten lives’

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Poor hospital care poses a risk to the lives of many patients in the developing world, say researchers. A study of 26 hospitals in eight countries in the Middle East and Africa found more than one death per day in every hospital was due to preventable accidents and poor treatment.

Many deaths were due to poor staff training and supervision rather than a lack of resources, scientists said.The study was published in The British Medical Journal. An international team of researchers examined the hospital records of over 15,000 patients.

The research was carried out across 26 hospitals in Egypt, Jordan, Kenya, Morocco, South Africa, Tunisia, Sudan and Yemen. Experts found that on average 8.2% suffered what they term an adverse event. These were defined as unintended injuries that resulted in permanent disability or death that came about as a result of healthcare management.

However, in some hospitals, the situation was much worse with almost one in five patients affected by accidents and poor treatments. The researchers say that adverse events happen in the developed world too, but they point out that the chances of dying from an adverse event in a developing world hospital are much higher.

 

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