Patients with developmental disabilities more likely to experience preventable physical injuries while in hospital according to Laia Maynou research

Our researcher Dr Laia Maynou, and Dr Rocco Friebel, Director of the Global Surgery Policy Unit at LSE, are the authors of the paper “Assessing the dangers of a hospital stay for patients with developmental disability in England, 2017-2019”. Their research, published in the October 2022 issue of the journal Health Affairs, reveals that people with developmental disabilities are nearly three times more likely than other patients to experience preventable physical injuries while in hospital. 

The paper looks at the prevalence of five avoidable safety incidents experienced by adults with developmental disabilities during their stay in English NHS hospitals between April 2017 and March 2019. The researchers considered cases of adverse drug reactions, hospital-acquired infections, pressure ulcers, postoperative deep vein thrombosis, and postoperative sepsis. They found that these avoidable in-hospital safety incidents increased the risk of death for adults with developmental disabilities by up to 15 percent. 

Health Affairs is the leading journal of health policy thought and research. The peer-reviewed journal was founded in 1981 under the aegis of Project HOPE, a nonprofit international health education organization. The journal explores health policy issues of current concern in domestic and international spheres and its mission is to serve as a high-level, nonpartisan forum to promote analysis and discussion on improving health and health care, and to address such issues as cost, quality, and access. 

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