Incidence of adverse events, preventability and mortality in gynaecological hospital admissions: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol. 2019 Apr;59(2):195-200. doi: 10.1111/ajo.12937. Epub 2019 Jan 20.


Background: Adverse events (AEs) are unintended consequences of healthcare management that result in temporary or permanent disability, death or prolonged hospital stay. The incidence of AEs has been reported to be higher in surgical specialties compared to medical specialties but information on the incidence of AEs in gynaecology is sparse.

Aims: To collect evidence on the incidence, preventability and mortality of AEs in gynaecological hospital admissions by conducting a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Materials and methods: A systematic search of the PubMed, EMBASE, and CINAHL electronic medical databases was performed. Identified articles were screened and a full-text review was conducted by two independent reviewers.

Results: Of the 49 studies assessed for eligibility, three studies were included in this systematic review. Meta-analysis showed that the incidence of AEs in gynaecological hospital admissions was 10.8% (95% CI 9.4-12.1%), preventability was 52.5% (95% CI 47.3-57.7%) and mortality was 1.2% (95% CI 0-2.5%).

Conclusions: Evidence on AEs in gynaecological hospital admissions is limited. Available evidence suggests that approximately one in ten gynaecological inpatients suffer at least one AE and half of AEs are considered preventable. Further research is needed to determine strategies regarding how the incidence of preventable AEs can be reduced.

Keywords: adverse event; medical error; patient safety; preventability.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Gynecology*
  • Hospitalization*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Medical Errors / statistics & numerical data*