THE chance of a doctor or nurse doing something wrong and risking their patient’s safety at the country’s biggest hospital is less than one in ten thousand or 0.000896%.
Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital was named as one of Johannesburg’s “most dangerous hospitals” by Jack Bloom of the Democratic Alliance on Monday.
Bloom put out a media statement on Monday in which he listed the highest number of serious adverse events at hospitals‚ noting that Chris Hani Baragwanath hospital topped the list with 62 recorded instances of negligence or doctor and nurse error in 2015.
He called the hospital a “killer hospital“.
Bloom got the data from a Promotion of Access to Information Act request forcing the department of health to give the information.
A serious adverse event is something that shouldn’t have happened in the hospital and could be a death caused by negligence or even include a patient checking themselves out early.
In response to Bloom‚ Gauteng department of health spokesman Steve Mabona has said that Chris Hani Baragwanath hospital is safe‚ but does face overcrowding.
Mabona said the hospital is the “busiest and biggest hospital in Gauteng therefore it could explain a higher number of events“.
It has 2‚888 beds and its doctors and nurses see the most complicated cases as smaller hospitals refer cases to this academic hospital.
“The Soweto based hospital manages about 592‚000 outpatients yearly‚ 51‚000 normal hours casualties and 21‚500 after hours casualties. It also performs 8‚000 caesarean section deliveries in addition to 19‚000 live births performed annually.”
This is an estimated 619‚500 patients a year with 62 adverse events recorded in 2015.
This means a 0.00089 chance of something going wrong due to doctor or nurse error.
In order to judge if a hospital has a poor or good safety record‚ it is better to have a percentage of patients who experienced injury rather than an absolute number‚ a doctor and scientist independently told The Times. This is because a hospital with a low number of patients will have a lower number of adverse events and a busy hospital may have a higher number of events.
Bloom named Jubilee Hospital in Soweto as the most dangerous hospital‚ because it is a smaller hospital and had a high number of serious adverse events: 51.
The department said in each case of a serious event‚ “a verbal or written warning or suspension ordismissal is given“. In more serious cases‚ the doctor or nurse is referred to the South African Nursing Council and doctor to the Health Professions Council of SA said Mabona.
Asked what he thought adverse events were‚ medical negligence lawyer Gary Austin said he guessed they may include: “Birth injury cases such as injuries suffered by a baby at birth as a result of the negligence of the hospital‚ which causes a lack of oxygen and hence brain damage; misdiagnoses of illnesses; failure to react to complications in an urgent manner; operating on the wrong body part; or prescribing wrong medicine or the wrong dosage.”