Report Puts Medical Errors as Third Leading Cause of Death

In This Month’s LET AMERICA KNOW Newsletter

Medical Malpractice Problems

If an airliner crashed every day of the year because of pilot error, would you travel by air? Probably not. If your doctor wanted to admit you to a hospital for a needed medical procedure, would you refuse? Probably not.

But consider this: A recently published study estimates that 210,000 to 440,000 hospital patients die each year from preventable medical errors, roughly equivalent to more than 365 jumbo jet disasters. That puts medical errors as the third leading cause of death in the United States after heart disease and cancer.

Other issues and statistics you should find both interesting and disturbing:

  • 40 Per Week: The national incidence of wrong site surgeries, which includes wrong patient, wrong procedure, wrong site and wrong side surgeries;
  • $1 Trillion Per Year: How much medical errors cost Americans each year due to additional medical costs, productivity losses and shortened life spans;
  • Hospital Grades: How good is your hospital (A-F grades here);
  • Hospital Safety Scores: Check a hospital’s safety score. Grades from A to F are based on 28 measures of publicly available hospital safety data;
  • Limiting Your Rights Not the Answer- Instead of focusing on the devastation caused by preventable medical mistakes, some special interests want to limit the legal rights of patients;
  • Hospital Insider Shares Her Perspective- Mary Anne Hillard, Chief Risk Counsel and Vice President of Safety and Patient Experience at Children’s National Medical Center, shares an inside perspective on medical mistakes.

Click here to read the entire January newsletter online.

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