Medical injuries can increase mortality risk and incur additional costs

Anne F. Reilly, Patrick M. Reilly

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

1 Scopus citations


Question. What is the effect of medical injury on risk of mortality, length of stay in hospital and associated costs? Study design. Outcomes analysis: hospital discharge data. Main results. The increased length of stay following patient safety indicator events ranged from 0 days (injury to neonate) to 10.89 days (postoperative sepsis). Additional costs ranged from $0 (obstetric trauma without vaginal instrumentation) to $57,727 (postoperative sepsis). Increased mortality ranged from 0% (obstetric trauma) to 21.9% (postoperative sepsis). Twelve of the 18 patient safety indicator events generated significant increases to mortality rate (see Table 1). Data are mean values. Excess length of stay, mortality and costs are the difference between a case and matching controls. Paired t test used to test if mean excess differed significantly from zero. Authors' conclusions. The effect of injuries experienced while in hospital varies enormously, which can result in significant increases to risk of mortality, length of hospital stay and cost.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-62
Number of pages3
JournalEvidence-Based Healthcare
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Hospital charges
  • Hospital mortality
  • Length of stay
  • Medical errors
  • Outcome assessment
  • Quality of healthcare


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