Infrastructure Tied to Most U.K. Obesity-Related Safety Events

But majority of obesity-associated safety incidents in U.K. are classified as low or no harm

MONDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- The majority of obesity-associated safety incidents reported to the United Kingdom's National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) are related to infrastructure, and are classified as low or no harm, according to a study published online July 25 in the Postgraduate Medical Journal.

Chris M.A. Booth, M.B.B.S., from the North West Deanery in the United Kingdom, and colleagues classified obesity-associated patient safety incidents reported to the NPSA to identify areas for improvement in the quality and safety of care for obese patients. A total of 555 patient safety incidents were identified between 2005 and 2008 from the National Reporting and Learning System database, of which 388 obesity-related incidents were included in the analysis. Reported incidents were categorized according to incident themes and levels of harm established.

The investigators identified 148 safety incidents related to assessment, diagnosis, or treatment; 213 related to infrastructure; and 28 related to staffing. The majority of the incidents were classified as low or no harm. All the three deaths reported were within the domain of anesthesia.

"This report identifies that the majority of safety incidents associated with obesity were related to infrastructure, suggesting that there is inadequate provision in place for the care of obese patients," the authors write.

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