Thursday, October 6, 2011

Risk, Hazard and Incident, apply to your work place wherever you are!!

Incident is an event or occurance. We talk of incidents as unplanned or unexpected events in a hospital set up. We record them diligently and analyse them to ensure such events do not recur for improvement of patient care.

Patients in India always ask me one thing when i suggest a treatment say for example surgery. It is this " risk onnum illiye" meaning "there is no risk in this, is there?". Once i had explained infection as one of the risks in treating a fracture to one of the wife of a patient who had treatment under me.

At two weeks when the sutures were being removed, the wife asked me with real worry "there is no infection, is there?". One has to remember that this wife was one of the staff member of my hospital itself. Now the point of matter is no one wants to take a risk in undergoing a treatment.

Yet treatment has risks. If someone tells you that there is no risk, what they are really doing is to reassure you as an worried patient or relative. They cannot really mean it. Yes this is true.

It is true in real life in all walks of life and in all situations. If you look at travelling in a road in India, you carry huge risk of having an accident. Does this mean that you do not travel and stay in the house all the time. No you do travel and you take risks.

But what then is the issue. It is in knowing the risk analysis of a situation. In other words, if somehow you know how much risk you are taking, then you may decide, yes it is worth it or not.

Is quantification alone enough?. What would you accept for example, one percent, five percent or less? Because the reason you are taking the risk may push you to take a larger than five percent risk as opposed to taking less

Say for Example, one has cancer and the surgeon says, have surgery. The surgery carries risk, but then not having surgery carries far greater risk. Hence one goes with the option of having surgery.

But what can everyone do in a place wherever they are. You control the risk by being aware of the hazards and avoid the exposure. If you cannot avoid then control the dose of exposure

Stay with me and
I will post in my next blog



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