Killer hospitals

Yikes!

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