More than 138 million patients are harmed every year by doctors' errors, the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned, just a few days before celebrating the first World Patient Safety Day, with which it seeks to raise awareness of this ongoing tragedy.
Errors in diagnosis, errors in medicine prescriptions and treatments, and the inappropriate use of drugs are the three main reasons why so many patients harmed, WHO patient-safety coordinator Dr Neelam Dhingra-Kumar told a press conference on Friday, Efe news reported.
"These mistakes occur because healthcare systems are not suitably designed to deal with these errors and learn from them," the expert said, while admitting that many medical facilities hide what they did wrong, which often keeps them from taking steps to make sure these mistakes are not repeated in the future.
Figures provided Friday by the WHO refer only to countries with medium and low economic status (where 80 per cent of the global population live), so that the real number could be even greater, considering that even in developed countries, one out of every 10 patients is the victim of medical mistakes.
Examples of these errors are the application of medications in ways they were not designed for, errors in blood transfusions and in taking X-rays, or in more dramatic cases, indicating that the wrong limb needs to be amputated or that the wrong side of the brain requires surgery.
Dhingra-Kumar cited among the factors that cause such errors "the lack of a clear hierarchy in certain hospitals, or insufficient communication among the workers." According to the Geneva-based organization, only errors related to erroneous medicine prescriptions cost healthcare systems around the world some $42 billion (37 billion euros).
To raise awareness about these problems, starting this year the WHO will celebrate every September 17 World Patient Safety Day, which in its first year will light up with the colour orange a number of monuments and healthcare facilities worldwide.
The pyramids of Cairo, the Kuala Lumpur Tower and the Eugenio Espejo Convention Center in Quito will be among the places tinted orange to highlight the occasion, established during the World Health Assembly last May.
All readers are invited to post comments responsibly. Any messages with foul language or inciting hatred will be deleted. Comments with all capital letters will also be deleted. Readers are encouraged to flag the comments they feel are inappropriate. The views expressed in the Comments section are of the individuals writing the post. The Tribune does not endorse or support the views in these posts in any manner.
Police, Excise officials seize hookahs from restaurants
Say they perform additional duties due to shortage of medica...
Agri Dept alert, constantly observing its movement, says ADO
The Chinese and zinc-coated thread is dangerous not only for...
Work of installing LED lights to begin in month, contractor ...
Says this time BJP won’t let him succeed in his attempts
1,500 security personnel to keep strict vigil, top cops take...
People visiting offices to pay bills by cheque a harried lot
No fee for now, vendors identified during survey will be eli...
To come up at Gurdwara Dukhniwaran Sahib, Kali Mata Mandir
School principals, teachers told to remain present at venue
Caught red-handed, another suspect to be nabbed soon, say co...