Hospital Mistakes Are Now Our 3rd Leading Cause of Death

Medical errors leading to patient death are much higher than previously thought, and may be as high as 400,000 deaths a year, according to a new study in the Journal of Patient Safety.

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The most recent study proves the number of patients dying is considerably higher than those in the Institute of Medicine’s 1999 report, To Err is Human: Building A Safer Health System, which at the time, estimated 98,000 people a year die because of hospital mistakes. The detail for that report was based on medical record reviews from the year 1984. It did not include far more recent – and more accurate – studies.

The latest study reveals that preventable adverse events (PAEs) kill between 4,000 and 7,500 patients who seek care at a hospital, each week. This means that medical errors are the third leading cause of death – behind heart disease and cancer – according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics.

The latest findings are based on research conducted by John T. James, Ph.D., who oversees the advocacy group Patient Safety America. 

Doctor James wrote that he hopes these 400,000 patient deaths each year will generate an “outcry for overdue changes and increased vigilance, to address this unbelievable harm to patients who come to a hospital seeking only to be healed.”

For more information on this appalling situation:
– You can read the study
– Here is an excellent ProPublica article
– See the original 1999 IOM report
– Here are the CDC statistics
– Check out the Patient Safety America website

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Our Observations:

Of course, for all its societal value, the CDC itself stubbornly continues to propagate the lie that healthcare is inherently safe. Here is their most recent list of ‘Top 10 Causes of Death’:

CDC: America’s Top 10 Causes of Death

  • Heart disease: 597,689
  • Cancer: 574,743
  • Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 138,080
  • Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 129,476
  • Accidents (unintentional injuries): 120,859
  • Alzheimer’s disease: 83,494
  • Diabetes: 69,071
  • Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 50,476
  • Influenza and Pneumonia: 50,097
  • Intentional self-harm (suicide): 38,364

It is absolutely abhorrent that the physician-managers who dominate the CDC continue to hide the obvious.

Keep this in mind: many of the perpetrators of this astounding volume of health care-caused deaths, are the same folks who demonstrate the unembarrassed gall to warn you about the ‘dangers’ of the flu.

Trust us: the flu does not kill 1,100 people a day. In the world of magic tricks, turning the public’s attention toward such ridiculous fears as the flu, is what magicians call “misdirection.”

Of course at a magic show the “misdirection” is generally a bellezeboobian in tights.

Same goal: different approach.

Have a terrific weekend.

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