Medical blunders kill 1,100 Britons yearly

LONDON: The number of English and Welsh patients dying in hospital after being given the wrong drugs soared by 500 percent to around 1,100 a year in the last decade, new Audit Commission figures revealed yesterday.

The deaths were either a result of wrong prescriptions or adverse reactions to medicine. In England and Wales in 1990 there were just over 200 deaths a year from medication errors and adverse effects of medicines.

By 1999 that figure had reached around 950 deaths a year and in 2000, some 1,100 patients died, the Audit Commission found. Medication errors are more likely to happen when new doctors arrive in hospitals, said report author Nick Mapstone. - AFP