According to the World Health Organization (WHO), millions of people worldwide suffer from medical treatments each year. "Every minute five people die because of incorrect treatment," said WHO boss Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in Geneva.
Worldwide, 40 percent of patients suffer from outpatient treatment and 10 percent at the hospital, according to the WHO. In some 150 low and middle income countries, it is estimated that 2.6 million people a year would be killed by improper medical treatment.
The range of errors is great:
- Some patients would get a wrong diagnosis
- or wrong medicines,
- they would be wrongly irradiated
- or become infected during the treatment.
- Even amputations of false limbs or brain surgery on the wrong side of the head would occur.
Zheng Huansong / XinHua / dpa
WHO boss Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
"It's a global problem," said WHO leader Neelam Dhingra-Kumar. Reason is a strict hierarchy in many institutions, where junior staff do not dare say anything. Or employees concealed mistakes for fear of reprisals. But mistakes must be recognized and named, says Dhingra-Kumar. "Making mistakes is human, but not learning from mistakes is unacceptable."
Action by WHO: Day of patient health
According to her, much more money can be saved, because injured patients have to stay in treatment longer. In the United States, Medicare hospitals saved around $ 28 billion (just over € 25 billion) from better security measures between 2010 and 2015.
more on the subject
On September 17, the first "Patient Health Day" will take place. The WHO wants to draw attention to the topic. In many countries, landmarks would be illuminated in orange, including the pyramids in Egypt and the fountain of water in Geneva. Germany, like some other countries, is setting a good example to avoid mistakes as much as possible, the WHO praised.