Amenable, preventable, avoidable: untangling how senior nurses talk about mortality
Using the right terminology for different kinds of deaths will help to focus on those that could have been avoided by good quality healthcare or public health interventions
In my role as a consultant in public health medicine with a focus on health intelligence and public health, I often hear senior clinicians in the NHS, including nursing staff, use the term ‘preventable mortality’ to describe deaths caused by a failure to diagnose or manage a clinical condition correctly.
In other words, a failure of healthcare. I generally try to steer them towards using the term ‘amenable mortality’ instead.
‘Amenable’ deaths make up...
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