Medical adverse events in the US 2018 mortality data

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Oura , P 2021 , ' Medical adverse events in the US 2018 mortality data ' , Preventive Medicine Reports , vol. 24 , 101574 .

Title: Medical adverse events in the US 2018 mortality data
Author: Oura, Petteri
Contributor organization: Department of Forensic Medicine
Date: 2021
Language: eng
Number of pages: 4
Belongs to series: Preventive Medicine Reports
ISSN: 2211-3355
Abstract: Although medical error has been estimated as the third leading cause of death in the US, the capability of current diagnostic coding systems and standard death certificates to capture these events has been criticized. This register-based study aimed to scrutinize medical adverse event deaths (i.e., deaths due to adverse events occurring within the healthcare practice, avoidable or unavoidable, including late complications and sequelae of such events) in the US National Vital Statistics 2018 mortality dataset. Individual-level data on underlying and multiple causes of death according to the tenth revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) coding system were extracted together with the decedents’ sex, age, ethnicity and education level. Adverse event deaths were identified by ICD-10 codes Y40—Y84 and Y88. The dataset comprised a total of 2 846 305 certified deaths. An adverse event ICD-10 code was used as the underlying cause of death in 0.16% (n = 4620) of the cases, and appeared on the list of multiple causes in 1.13% (n = 32 226) of the cases. Adverse event deaths were more common among younger than elderly individuals, among those of black than white ethnicity, and among individuals with higher education level. The present data indirectly support previous evidence that a large number of adverse events remain underrecognized or misclassified. Future analyses are needed to reveal the root causes behind underreporting and address whether it occurs at random or in a systematic way.
Subject: 3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion

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