Intended for healthcare professionals


Dutch study shows that 40% of adverse incidents in hospital are avoidable

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: (Published 03 May 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:925
  1. Tony Sheldon
  1. Utrecht

    Each year about 30 000 hospital patients in the Netherlands suffer avoidable harm during treatment, a new national study has estimated. About 1700 deaths a year could be avoided, it says.

    The independent investigation was initiated by the Dutch hospital consultants' body, the Order of Medical Specialists (Orde van Medisch Specialisten), and had the cooperation of a cross section of the country's hospitals. Pieter Vierhout, a surgeon and chairman of the body, said that the Netherlands may compare favourably with other countries in terms of safety but that “every avoidable death or patient harmed is one too many.” …

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