One death a week in hospi­tal mishaps

The West Australian - - NEWS - Cathy O'Leary Med­i­cal Edi­tor

‘Hospi­tals work to en­sure that they are trans­par­ent when mis­takes oc­cur.’

Clin­i­cal mishaps have been linked to the deaths of more than one pa­tient a week at Perth’s pub­lic hospi­tals.

Fig­ures from the an­nual re­ports of the four metropoli­tan health ser­vices, tabled in State Par­lia­ment this week, re­veal 58 clin­i­cal in­ci­dents con­trib­uted to the deaths of pa­tients in 2016-17.

An­other 140 in­ci­dents were linked to se­ri­ous harm in pa­tients, and an­other 71 in­ci­dents con­trib­uted to mod­er­ate or mi­nor harm.

Hospi­tal staff are obliged to re­port clin­i­cal in­ci­dents and near misses where harm could have been caused by the health care rather than the pa­tient’s un­der­ly­ing con­di­tion.

They can in­clude mis­takes such as the wrong pro­ce­dures or med­i­ca­tions used, or pa­tients fall­ing from their bed. Cases where death or se­ri­ous harm are likely to have oc­curred are given the high­est rat­ing of sever­ity as­sess­ment code, or SAC 1.

East Metropoli­tan Health Ser­vice, which in­cludes Royal Perth, St John of God Mid­land Pub­lic, Bent­ley and Ar­madale hospi­tals, had 25 deaths linked to clin­i­cal in­ci­dents.

South Metropoli­tan Health Ser­vice, which in­cludes Fiona Stan­ley and Fre­man­tle hospi­tals, had 19 in­ci­dents which con­trib­uted to deaths.

North Metropoli­tan Health Ser­vice, which in­cludes Sir Charles Gaird­ner and Gray­lands WA Health Depart­ment

hospi­tals, had 13 deaths.

In its re­port, the NMHS said 49 cases had been con­firmed as SAC1 events, with health care, or in some cases lack of care, con­tribut­ing to pa­tients’ poor out­comes.

“While it is known that all health care car­ries risk, it is with deep re­gret that NHMS ac­knowl­edges that 13 pa­tients died and 32 pa­tients sus­tained se­ri­ous harm where our health care was a con­tribut­ing fac­tor,” the re­port said.

The Child and Ado­les­cent Health Ser­vice, which in­cludes Princess Mar­garet Hospi­tal, had 20 con­firmed in­ci­dents, re­sult­ing in one death, six cases of se­ri­ous harm and nine of mi­nor harm.

The Health Depart­ment said pa­tient safety was the top pri­or­ity for the WA health sys­tem, which was demon­strated in low hospi­tal mor­tal­ity and clin­i­cal in­ci­dent rates.

“Hospi­tals work to en­sure that they are trans­par­ent when mis­takes oc­cur, so they can de­velop strate­gies to help pre­vent ad­verse in­ci­dents from hap­pen­ing in the fu­ture,” it said.

“When a clin­i­cal in­ci­dent is iden­ti­fied, im­me­di­ate ac­tion is taken to pro­vide care to the pa­tient in­volved.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.