The Severity of Adverse Events is Associated with the Age of Hospitalized Patients: A Retrospective Study

Jeel Moya-Salazar1, 2, *, Graciela Añanca3, Eliane A. Goicochea4, Victor Rojas-Zumaran2, Belén Moya-Salazar5, 6, Hans Contreras-Pulache1
1 South American Center for Research in Education and Public Health, Universidad Norbert Wiener, Lima, Perú
2 Department of Pathology, Hospital Nacional Docente Madre Niño San Bartolomé, Lima, Peru
3 Department of Medicine, Hospital Dos de Mayo, Lima, Perú
4 School of Medical Technologist, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universidad Tecnológica del Perú, Lima, Peru
5 School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universidad Norbert Wiener, Lima, Peru
6 Infectious Unit, Nesh Hubbs, Lima, Perú

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© 2023 Moya-Salazar et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the South American Center for Research in Education and Public Health, Universidad Norbert Wiener, Lima, Perú; E-mails:,



Adverse events (AE) are unintentional injuries or harm that occur during medical care. These represent a public health problem, and they are one of the main causes of death in the world.


The objective of the study was to determine AEs derived from nursing care in hospitalized patients, as well as to estimate their frequency according to severity, follow-up, and type of care service.


We undertook a retrospective study in hospitalized patients. EA by severity (no damage, irreversible damage, disability, and death), types (pressure ulcers (PUs), falls, phlebitis, and blood transfusion), and demographic data (age and gender) were taken into account. Damage severity was determined according to the guidelines of the Peruvian Ministry of Health.


We obtained 127 reports (55.9% women, mean age of 28+8 years). The main EA were PUs (57.5%), followed by phlebitis (20.5%) and falls (19.7%). Most of the AEs have been followed up, and almost all the AEs occurred during hospitalization. In addition, being older was associated with AE severity (p=0.002), as there were reports of 2 (1.6%) cases of death, and half of the cases resulted in the disability of patients > 48 years old.


PUs were the most frequent AE. They affected younger patients, and their severity was associated with older age. It is important for health professionals to recognize and notify AEs in order to ensure the patients’ well-being; also, health institutions needs to be encouraged for improving their risk reduction programs.

Keywords: Adverse events, Nursing care, Hospitalized patients, Blood transfusion, Pressure ulcer, Medical care.