Friday, 6 November 2015

Two deaths possibly linked to 'Hunt effect', study suggests

Two deaths possibly linked to 'Hunt effect', study suggests Research suggests some patients may be avoiding going to hospital at the weekend because of health secretary’s statements about inadequate NHS staffing levels

Two people in need of urgent medical attention died last month after they did not go to hospital at a weekend because they wrongly believed there would be too few doctors on duty and that they would be at risk of dying, research claims. Almost a third (32%) of the 40 patients studied, who all held off seeking NHS treatment for that reason, suffered “long-term, irreversible morbidity” (an increased chance of dying) as a direct result of their delay, their doctors say.

In addition, more than four out of five (82%) of the patients had a worse outcome than if they had sought help the day their health deteriorated, while the delay could have proved life-threatening in 90% of them, the study found. They included an older person who had fallen over and broken a limb but stayed in bed over the weekend, despite having a fracture and being in pain because paracetamol gave her too little relief, and only sought help on the Monday. Continue reading... The Guardian

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