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Class III Obese Patients Experience Adverse Events More Frequently Than the General Adverse Event Patient Population
Date:3/4/2013

HARRISBURG, Pa., March 4, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Class III obese patients are more likely than a patient in the general adverse event population to experience a harmful adverse event, according to information in the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority's March Pennsylvania Patient Safety Advisory released today.

The Authority analyzed 1,774 events submitted by Pennsylvania healthcare facilities over a five-year period in which class III obese patients were involved in a Serious Event (an event that caused harm to the patient). Serious Events accounted for 24% of the total number of reports submitted involving a class III obese patient. In comparison, the general adverse event patient population experiences a Serious Event in less than four percent of the time.

"Class III obese patients require special equipment that is big enough and strong enough to support them safely while they are in the care of others," Lea Anne Gardner , Ph.D., RN, senior patient safety analyst for the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority said. "Our analysis shows these patients experience equipment failures, treatment delays, and an overall higher risk of harm in the healthcare setting."

A further review of the Pennsylvania healthcare events identified 180 (10%) equipment-use event reports involving class III obese patients. In comparison, the general adverse event patient population equipment-related reports accounted for 0.8% of all adverse event reports in 2011. In July 2012, the Authority completed a statewide survey of Pennsylvania hospitals to determine how prepared they were to care for the class III obese patient population.

"Results from the Authority survey showed that thirty-six percent of respondents said that their hospital does not have an evacuation plan in place for moving class III obese pati
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority
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