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 & othersLast reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."
~ Mary Anne Radmacher