One in 10 people admitted to a hospital in Britain will be injured or harmed because of a mistake by the staff, and 40,000 die every year as a consequence.
Regular mistakes include performing the wrong operation, prescribing the wrong drugs, leaving surgical instruments in the body after an operation, and failing to put up bars that stop people falling out of a hospital bed.
Around 25,000 people die from blood clots after an operation, and this could be easily avoided by prescribing an anti-coagulant, says Dr Richard Taylor, a member of the House of Commons health committee.
Prof Richard Thomson of Newcastle University told the committee that around 10 per cent of hospital patients suffered 'harm' because of bad treatment or mistake.
(Source: Daily Telegraph, December 1, 2008).