freelance journalist, print journalist, online journalist, copywriter, content editor, freelance editor, health and lifestyle, blogger Another reason to stay out of hospital? | Christine Morgan - Journalist
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If you’re planning on getting sick at any time soon – sick enough to warrant a stay in hospital, that is – then try and delay it until after the summer if you want to boost your odds of surviving the experience. At least, that’s what a study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine might make you think.

Why? Because, at least in the US, the number of teaching hospital deaths owing to fatal medication errors happen in July – which is the month when all those newly-qualified doctors begin their medical residencies. The study’s authors have concluded that there’s a relationship between an influx of inexperienced medics on the wards and a rise in the number of deaths caused by accidental overdosings, wrong drugs being given or taken in error and in accidents that involve the use of drugs in medical and surgical procedures.

Scary or what? Even I’m getting the horrors.

Now I’m not sure if the same applies here in the UK, but I believe that most junior doctors start their posts in July/August or thereabouts (it makes sense, if medical students finish their finals the same time as other university students). So whether you’re a riskfactorphobe or not, don’t say I haven’t warned you.

There again, I haven’t studied the statistics but chances are your risk of being accidentally killed by an inexperienced medic is still tiny, compared to what might happen to you if you are seriously ill and you don’t get the hospital treatment you need. Nevertheless, it’s a great story for anyone who’s convinced that hospitals are the worst places to be if you want to live a long and healthy life.