European data, largely from EU Member States, consistently show that medical errors and health-related adverse events occur in 8-12% of hospitalizations. For example, the UK Department of Health, in its 2000 report, estimated around 850.000 adverse events per year (10% of hospital admissions). Spain (in its 2005 national study on adverse events) and France and Denmark have published incidence studies with similar results.
Healthcare associated infections affect approximately 1 in 20 hospital patients each year (estimated in 4,1 million patients) with the four most common types: urinary tract infections (27%), lower respiratory tract infections (24%), surgery site infections (17%) and bloodstream infections (10,5%). Multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is isolated in approximately 5% of all healthcare-associated infections. The UK's National Audit Office estimates the cost of such infections at £ 1 billion per year.
While 23% of EU citizens say they have been directly affected by medical errors, 18% say they have suffered a serious medical error in a hospital and 11% have received the wrong drug. Evidence of medical errors shows that 50-70,2% of such harm can be prevented through comprehensive systematic approaches to patient safety.
Statistics show that strategies to reduce the rate of adverse events in the European Union would prevent more than 750.000 medical errors inflicted each year, leading to over 3,2 million fewer days of hospitalization, 260.000 fewer accidents. of permanent disability e 95.000 fewer deaths per year.