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nearly 2,400 serious adverse events associated with care were reported to the High Authority for Health in 2022

Nearly half of these adverse events were fatal to patients, reveals the sixth annual report of the HAS.


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The High Authority for Health (HAS), (photo illustration).  (VINCENT ISORE / MAXPPP)

Nearly 2,400 serious adverse events associated with care (SAEs) were reported last year to the High Authority for Health (HAS), which unveils its sixth annual report on this specific point on Tuesday, November 21, on the occasion of the patient safety week, until Friday. “51% of SIGS could have been avoided in 2022”, estimates the HAS. However, the consequences of these “serious adverse events associated with care” can be fatal. In 2022, almost half (48%) led to the death of the patient. In 30% of cases, the vital prognosis is engaged and in 22% of cases, there is a “probable permanent functional deficit”, according to the report from the High Health Authority.

She draws several lessons from “anonymized reports of serious adverse events associated with care” that she received last year. Three-quarters occurred in a health establishment (hospital or clinic). In 27% of cases, these are errors linked to care or its organization. 24.9% of these EIGS are the consequence “actions of the patient against himself” (suicide, suicide attempts). The third cause of these incidents is “medication error and iatrogenics (diagnosis errors, prevention or inappropriate prescription, complications of a therapeutic procedure)”, that is to say the adverse effects caused by taking a medication (13.5%). These are essentially dosage errors on the part of caregivers or patients. The High Health Authority also notes that in 11.2% of cases, the serious adverse event associated with care results “errors linked to an operating or anesthetic procedure”.

Elderly patients most affected

The HAS indicates that these serious adverse events associated with care mainly concern patients aged over 60 (56%). They occur in 52% of cases in “situations where the patient’s care was urgent (immediate or relative)”. Finally, 39% of EIGS “take place in a vulnerable period”at night, on weekends or on public holidays.

In its report, the High Authority for Health notes that the number of reports of serious adverse events associated with healthcare “increased by 27% between 2021 and 2022”. It received 2,385 EIGS reports in 2022, compared to 1,874 the previous year. However, “this remains far below the actual number of SAEs occurring in France.” However, the High Health Authority is pleased because this increase in reports “certainly results from better knowledge of the system and a growing safety culture among professionals.”

Between March 2017 and December 31, 2022, HAS received 7,347 anonymized EIGS declarations. She “encourages all professionals to declare and analyze these events more systematically, an essential link in improving the quality and safety of care.”

Gn Fr France

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