THE NUMBER OF PATIENTS KILLED THROUGH U.S.
MEDICAL ERROR IS ESTIMATED AT 440,000 PER YEAR ACCORDING TO THE JOURNAL, HEALTH AFFAIRS.
NO, THAT FIGURE IS NOT A MISPRINT—NOR IS IT A JOKE!.
(as in, “Surely you’re joking Mr. Feynman.”)
And that 440, 000 doesn’t include those merely injured, sickened unnecessarily, or otherwise harmed.
Adequate words elude me. There is such a mismatch between American myth and American substance that I am truly staggered.
If these figures are to be believed, a combination of U.S healthcare and the food chain is killing nearly half a million Americans each year.
Why is no one overly concerned about this? Or did they meet with a medical accident?
That was a joke.
The following extract is from the New York Times.
The Opinion Pages | OP-ED CONTRIBUTORS
When Bad Doctors Happen to Good Patients
By THOMAS MOORE and STEVE COHENAUG. 31, 2015
Hospitals are dangerous places. In 1999 the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences published a study, “To Err is Human,” which concluded that at least 44,000 patients were killed (and many more injured) in hospitals each year because of medical errors. By 2011, a study in the journal HealthAffairs estimated that the number of avoidable deaths was probably 10 times higher. Hundreds of thousands more patients are seriously injured through negligence. Doctors and hospitals are doing a poor job of policing themselves, yet they have been successful at keeping anyone else from doing it.
Doctors and hospitals must do a better job of policing themselves. Six percent of all doctors were estimated to be responsible for 58 percent of all malpractice payments between 1991 and 2005. State licensing agencies must do a much better job of keeping those worst of the worst out of hospitals. The threshold for state medical licensing agencies to initiate reviews should be reduced; in New York it takes six malpractice judgments or settlements. It should be three at most.