Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Abandon the term “second victim”

The term “second victim” is appropriate for frontline workers

BMJ 2019; 365 doi: (Published 17 May 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;365:l2157
  1. Ivar G Petersen, patient ambassador
  1. Copenhagen, Denmark
  1. ivar{at}

Clarkson and colleagues question the use of the term “second victim” to describe doctors involved in medical errors.1 Their inference that randomness is assigned to an adverse event simply because the health professional is a second victim is not solid.

Adverse events typically originate …

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