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Poor Hospital Care In Developing Countries Puts Patients’ Lives At Risk, Study Suggests

“Poor hospital care poses a risk to the lives of many patients in the developing world,” according to a study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) on Tuesday, BBC News reports (McGrath, 3/13). For the study, which was supported by the WHO, researchers from the New York City Health and Hospital Corporation “looked at patients from 26 hospitals altogether across eight countries” — Egypt, Jordan, Kenya, Morocco, Tunisia, Sudan, South Africa and Yemen — and “found that harm to patients caused by their health care rather than their disease is a major public health problem and consistent with previous reports from the developed world,” according to a BMJ press release.

“Inadequate training or supervision of clinical staff and the absence of, or failure to follow clinical protocols were more important than a shortage of equipment or staff as causing harm to hospitalized patients in the developing world,” the press release states (3/13). “Experts found that on average 8.2 percent suffered what they term an adverse event” — “defined as unintended injuries that resulted in permanent disability or death that came about as a result of health care management” — but noted that “in some hospitals, the situation was much worse with almost one in five patients affected by accidents and poor treatments,” BBC notes (3/13).