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1 in 5 Elderly Patients Injured by Medical Care

Sickest patients at greatest risk, researchers say

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Dr. David Katz is director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center and president of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. He said: "We have long known that medical care, while pledged to avoid harm above all, actually imposes quite a bit of it. Medical injury is all too common, and adverse effects of treatment are common, even in the absence of error."

But, he added, a process of continuous assessment and systems-level reform is needed to reduce medical errors to the minimum.

"There is also need to cultivate more health by living well," he said. "Medical injuries occurred in the context of treatment, and were more common with more serious conditions. That older patients with several chronic diseases and on multiple medications are more prone to adverse medical events is less than shocking."

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