Medical mistakes kill 15,000 patients every month

Saturday, November 20, 2010 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: medical msitakes, patients, health news

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(NaturalNews) Your local hospital just might be more of a death trap than an actual health care facility. A new report issued by the Office of Inspector General at the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) says that every month roughly 134,000 hospital patients experience some type of adverse event during their stays. And about 15,000 of them die every month due to various medical and surgical errors.

According to the report, such adverse events include surgery mistakes, medication dosage errors, improper care protocols, and transmission of infection due to filthy conditions. In fact, patients are often admitted to hospitals in healthier condition than when they leave (if they even do), and much of the time their health declines are a result of avoidable medical errors.

Many hospitals are also hotbeds of infectious diseases like Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), the infamous hospital "superbug" that kills roughly 48,000 people every year (

Nearly 50 percent of all adverse event problems are avoidable, according to the report. But since there is no tracking system in place to address the problems and work towards fixing them, many hospitals continue to make them without consequence -- and the vast majority of hospital patients have no idea about the significant risks they face.

"This report shows that hospital patients are being harmed by medical errors at an alarming rate," explained Lisa McGiffert from Consumers Union, in a statement. "Unfortunately, most Americans have no way of knowing whether their hospital is doing a good job preventing medical errors."

At this time, there is no solid way to determine where hospitals rank in terms of overall safety performance because no reporting system exists for tracking this information. But the report urges both the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services to work towards implementing one.

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