Pretty well everyone has heard a horror story about a serious hospital mishap: a medication mix-up, a sponge or retractor left in a patient after surgery, the wrong kidney removed.
So it would be no surprise if some patients facing an operation or admission to a medical ward may be somewhat anxious about their care.
And that begs the question: just how safe are Canada’s hospitals?
As it turns out, 138,000 — or one in every 18 — patients admitted to a Canadian hospital in 2014-15 suffered some kind of harmful event that could potentially have been prevented, from getting the wrong drug to developing an infection, a report released Wednesday has found.
Of those 138,000 patients, about 30,000 had more than one adverse event that compromised their care.
“We know that most patients experience safe care, but when harm happens there’s a big impact on patients, families and the health team,” said Kathleen Morris, vice-president of research and analysis at the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), which compiled the report.