'Fixation' on COVID-19 symptoms seriously harmed patients: sentinel events report

The requirement for protective masks and face shields also 'obstructed communication' within clinical teams

A new report on sentinel events in Victorian hospitals show that a small number of patients were seriously harmed by a “fixation” on COVID-19 symptoms. 

System issues resulting from the pandemic were judged a contributing factor to 22 of the 168 sentinel events reported in 2020-21, according to Safer Care Victoria. 

"The impacts of the pandemic on health services were rapid, multifactorial and widely experienced," it added.

"An overall lack of resources (including staff