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WHO Facts on Patient Safety

According to WHO data, every year 134 million medical cases take an adverse turn due to inadequate healthcare services, especially in low to middle-income countries; this contributes to 2.6 million deaths annually! Another stat says that 4 out of 10 patients are harmed in the primary and ambulatory settings; up to 80% of harm in these settings can be avoided.

Here are 10 WHO facts on Patient Safety:

Fact 1: One in every 10 patients is harmed while receiving hospital care

Fact 2: The occurrence of adverse events due to unsafe care is likely one of the 10 leading causes of death and disability across the world

Fact 3: Four out of every 10 patients are harmed in primary and outpatient health care

Fact 4: At least 1 out of every 7 Canadian dollars is spent treating the effects of patient harm in hospital care

Fact 5: Investment in patient safety can lead to significant financial savings

Fact 6: Unsafe medication practices and medication errors harm millions of patients and costs billions of US dollars every year

Fact 7: Inaccurate or delayed diagnosis is one of the most common causes of patient harm and affects millions of patients

Fact 8: Hospital infections affect up to 10 out of every 100 hospitalized patients

Fact 9: More than 1 million patients die annually from complications due to surgery

Fact 10: Medical exposure to radiation is a public health and patient safety concern

There is a one in three million risk of plunging to death while travelling by airplane, whereas the risk of dying in medical care is one in three-hundred. Think about it! Isn’t there ample room for improvement!

-Statistics and figures are taken from

September 17, 2019

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