Document medical errors so other doctors can learn from them and not repeat those mistakes, was the advice a group of paediatricians from Canada’s McMaster University gave to Indian doctors during a workshop organised by Surya Hospital in Santacruz.
Around 105 doctors across India attended this workshop titled ‘Patient safety and quality improvement in newborn and paediatric care’ on Saturday.
“Just like any other field, doctors too are bound to make errors. Most of the times medical errors are because of human factors and faults in the system,” said Dr Madan Roy, associate professor, department of paediatrics, McMaster children’s hospital, Hamilton. “Once there is an error made, there should not be a hurry to play the blame game,” he added.
According to doctors, two major studies have estimated that in the United States of America 44,000 people die in hospitals every year as a result of medical errors that could have been prevented.
They added that these estimates show that the number of deaths caused my medical errors exceed the number of deaths caused by motor vehicle accidents, breast cancer or even AIDS.
“Over the last four years, we have found at our hospital that acknowledging medical errors and informing the relatives has led to a decrease in suing rates,” Dr Roy said
Dr Bhupendra Awasthi, founder of Surya Hospital said that medical errors in India are grossly underreported. “If the number of deaths related to medical errors are so high in developed countries like the US and Canada, in India the number would be certainly higher,” he said.
“Such workshops are relevant as they are a reminder that we need to have very specific protocols in place when it comes to reporting medical errors,” he added.