Killer hospitals


The WHO appointed Professor Liam Donaldson, England’s former chief medical officer, as the agency’s envoy for patient safety….

“If you were admitted to hospital tomorrow in any country … your chances of being subjected to an error in your care would be something like 1 in 10. Your chances of dying due to an error in health care would be 1 in 300,” Donaldson told a news briefing, Reuters reported.

This compared with a risk of dying in an air crash of about 1 in 10 million passengers, he said.

Of every 100 hospitalized patients at any given time, seven in developed and 10 in developing countries will acquire at least one health care-associated infection, according to the report.

…“if I was having an operation tomorrow I wouldn’t go into a hospital that wasn’t using the [WHO surgical safety] checklist because I wouldn’t regard it as safe,” said Donaldson.

I did an empirical analysis recently that found a strong relationship between healthy behaviors (exercising, eating well, not smoking, etc.) and health but zero — or even a slight negative — relationship between quality hospitals and health. I was surprised to see a slight negative relationship, but hospitals can be dangerous places. They’re no longer leeches-and-lobotomies dangerous, but they’re full of antibiotic-resistant germs and hospital employees who make mistakes.

Much better to live a healthy lifestyle than rely on doctors to fix you.

Posted by James on Friday, July 22, 2011