All clinicians are aware that medical errors are a severe public health issue that endangers patient safety. Nonetheless, one of the most difficult unsolved concerns is “What constitutes a medical error?” The solution to this fundamental question has yet to be determined. “Medical mistakes” are difficult to quantify objectively due to ambiguous terminology. Data analysis, synthesis, and assessment have been hampered by a lack of defined nomenclature and redundant definitions of medical mistakes.
There are two kinds of errors:
- Omission medical errors occur as a result of activities that are not done. Examples include failing to secure a patient onto a wheelchair or failing to stabilize a gurney before to transfer.
- Errors in execution arise as a result of the incorrect action done. Examples include providing a drug to which a patient is known to be allergic or failing to mark a laboratory test, which is then attributed to the wrong patient.
Every year, millions of people are injured or killed as a result of dangerous and low-quality health treatment and medical errors. Many medical practices and dangers linked with health care are emerging as important issues for patient safety, adding considerably to the burden of harm caused by hazardous care.
The following are some of the most concerning patient safety scenarios:
Pharmaceutical mistakes are a primary source of damage and preventable damage in healthcare institutions; the global cost of medical errors is estimated to be US$ 42 billion per year.
Sepsis is commonly misdiagnosed, resulting in a patient’s death. Because these infections are frequently antibiotic-resistant, they can quickly deteriorate clinical conditions, impacting an astounding 31 million people globally and inflicting over 5 million deaths every year.
Venous thromboembolism (blood clots) is one of the most prevalent and avoidable causes of patient damage, accounting for one-third of all hospital-related medical errors. Annually, high-income nations are predicted to have 3.9 million cases, while low- and middle-income countries have 6 million cases.
Diagnostic mistakes occur in around 5% of persons in ambulatory care settings, with more than half of them having the potential to cause serious injury. Most people will experience a diagnostic error at some point in their lives.
Unsafe Transfusion Techniques
Unsafe transfusion techniques put patients at risk of serious transfusion responses and infection spread. Data from a group of 21 nations on adverse transfusion responses suggest an average of 8.7 significant events per 100 000 dispersed blood components.
Radiation mistakes include overexposure to radiation as well as situations of the incorrect patient and source recognition. According to an assessment of 30 years of available data on radiation safety, the overall incidence of errors is around 15 per 10,000 treatment courses.