Confidential Documents Sheds Light on Blunders of NHS

by VR Sreeraman on Sep 24 2007 7:41 PM

A number of confidential documents released under the new Freedom of Information Act has shed light on several NHS (National Health Service) blunders, including a case where a patient underwent brain surgery on the wrong side of his head.

Near fatalities also included a patient surviving cardiac arrest despite a defibrillator malfunction, while a patient suffering "catastrophic" brain damage blamed the doctor for error in prescription.

In other incidents, an ambulance crew could not open the rear side of the vehicle to give a patient a drug and a baby was given 10 times the correct dose of morphine.

In total, seven out of 10 strategic health authorities found 103 drug incidents, 21 cases of equipment failure and 20 surgical blunders.

A spokesperson for NHS said that there are equal number of safety incidents.

"Every month the NHS delivers over 22 million treatments,” the Telegraph quoted a Department of Health spokesman, as saying.

"Any mistake is one too many but similar rates of patient safety incidents occur worldwide.

"However, during the last five years significant progress has been made. For example, all trusts have established reporting systems, which help the NHS to learn from any incident."