Patients in the intensive-care unit of a large teaching hospital had a 1-in-5 chance of experiencing an adverse event during their treatment, according to a new study published in the August issue of Critical Care Medicine. Researchers documented 120 adverse events in 79 patients, or about 20% of patients whose care was studied. About 13% of the adverse events were either fatal or life-threatening and 45% were deemed preventable. Using data from the study, the researchers estimated that almost 150,000 life-threatening errors occur annually in teaching hospitals. The errors and adverse events reported in the study were found through direct observation by on-site physician-researchers, chart review, voluntary and solicited reports, and a computerized adverse drug-event monitor. -- by Joseph Conn
Errors may plague teaching hospital ICUs: study
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