Aarhus University Seal

Patient safety

Research in patient safety addresses the prevention of adverse events occurring during the process of medical care across a range of diagnoses and procedures.

Surgical patient safety research at Department of Clinical Epidemiology primarily focuses on the safety of surgical procedures. About 200 million people undergo surgery every year worldwide and surgical care results in at least 7 million complications annually, including 1 million deaths. The aims of the projects are to study several adverse events, including those common to other fields (e.g., death, readmission, complications such as infections, blood clots in the legs and lungs, stroke, kidney failure, adverse drug events, and quality of life) and those specific to surgery (e.g., implant failure and reoperation).

Since 2007, we have participated in the Nordic Arthroplasty Registry Association (NARA) collaboration with the overall aim of improving the quality of our research and our understanding of the clinical course of patients undergoing joint replacement surgery, and thereby enhance our possibility for quality improvement of treatment with joint replacement surgery. The NARA dataset includes more than 1 million hip and 500,000 knee arthroplasty procedures and has provided the basis for numerous research projects.

By applying advanced analytical methods, we study the risk factors for these adverse events as well as the impact the events have on the prognosis of surgical patients. Our current projects examine comorbidities, medication use, socio-economic status, and devices in relation to outcome in patients undergoing major surgical procedures.

Selected DCE publications