Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Epidemic of Preventable Medical Harm,

The Centers for Disease Control reports that 1.7 million people who enter the hospital this year - for any reason - will contract a Hospital Acquired Infection which is completely unrelated to the condition they entered with, and 99,000 of those patients infected will die within the year. Many thousands more will never fully recover.

The Sepsis Alliance - a physician group studying the condition - states that 215,000 people die each year from sepsis, a blood stream infection. The Alliance also states that half of those deaths could be prevented if hospitals would identify and treat patients in a timely manner.

In November 2010, the Office of the Inspector General released a damning report stating that every month in US hospitals, 15,000 Medicare patients over the age of 65 are killed by preventable medical harm. That's 180,000 needless deaths a year. Another 45,000 Seniors on Medicare are injured every month, but survive their hospitalization.

The three studies above document more than 386,000 preventable deaths a year in US hospitals - and that's only a small glimpse of a problem that has reached epidemic proportions. 

The Institutes of Medicine estimates there are 100,000 documented preventable harm deaths per year, however they also reluctantly admit that only 5%-20% of preventable medical harm incidents are ever documented on patient records. That means their figure is badly underestimated. By how much? You do the math. 

Click on the "via" link for the rest of the article.

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