Health at a Glance: Europe 2012

image of Health at a Glance: Europe 2012

This second edition of Health at a Glance: Europe presents a set of key indicators of health status, determinants of health, health care resources and activities, quality of care, health expenditure and financing in 35 European countries, including the 27 European Union member states, 5 candidate countries and 3 EFTA countries. The selection of indicators is based largely on the European Community Health Indicators (ECHI) shortlist, a set of indicators that has been developed to guide the reporting of health statistics in the European Union.  It is complemented by additional indicators on health expenditure and quality of care, building on the OECD expertise in these areas. Each indicator is presented in a user-friendly format, consisting of charts illustrating variations across countries and over time, a brief descriptive analysis highlighting the major findings conveyed by the data, and a methodological box on the definition of the indicator and any limitations in data comparability.



Obstetric trauma

The patient safety indicators related to obstetric trauma flag cases of potentially preventable third- and fourth-degree perineal tears during vaginal delivery. Such tears extending to the perineal muscles, anal sphincter and bowel wall require surgical treatment after birth. Possible complications include continued perineal pain and anal incontinence. A recent study found that around 10% of women who had such tears will suffer from faecal incontinence initially (compared to 3% of women who do not have a tear). Almost 45% of women with initial symptoms had remaining problems after four to eight years (Sundquist, 2012).


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