Adverse events among patients following discharge from hospital


Adverse events resulting from medical treatments are known to occur quite often among hospitalized patients. In their study of patients discharged from a general internal medical service at an academic hospital in Ottawa, Canada, Alan Forster and colleagues found that 23% of the patients had experienced an AE and that 6% had a preventable AE.

The authors found that 72% of all AEs were related to medications, while a univariate analysis revealed that female sex, type 2 diabetes mellitus and pneumonia were independent predictors that an AE would occur. The study found that while two-thirds of AEs caused only symptoms, 12% led to an emergency department visit, 17% led to readmission to hospital and 3% resulted in death. Previous studies have shown that discharged patients have a high risk of experiencing an adverse event secondary to treatment received in hospital. The authors recommend closer monitoring of patients -- particularly of frail elderly patients -- after discharge from hospital.

In a related commentary, Ross Baker and Peter Norton stress the importance of a smooth transition between hospital-based and community-based care in preventing AEs among patients discharged from hospital.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
    Published on All rights reserved.



Don't be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson
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