Stop Iatrogenesis - The number three killer in America is preventable

Thursday, January 05, 2012 by: Kiva Bottero
Tags: iatrogenesis, accidental death, medicine

eTrust Pro Certified

Delicious Pin It
(NaturalNews) In 1999 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) awakened the nation with their landmark study "To Err is Human," which found that accidental deaths due to medical errors in hospitals account for as few as 44,000 and as many as 98,000 deaths per year in the U.S. Even at the bottom end of the spectrum, these preventable deaths, which include improper transfusions, surgical injuries, and wrong-site surgery, cause more deaths than either breast cancer or motor-vehicle accidents.

The following year the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported that iatrogenic causes of death -- medical errors in hospitals and adverse drug reactions to medications -- total approximately 225,000 deaths annually, making it America`s #3 killer.

Adverse drug reactions

A University of Toronto study found that pharmaceuticals kill more people in the U.S. than motor-vehicle accidents (as reported by the Cancer Cure Foundation). Of the two million hospitalized Americans, who suffered a serious adverse drug reaction within the 12 months prior to the study, 100,000 died from their reaction. Of those deaths, 75% were not due to allergic reactions, but were preventable.

The exceptions

Iatrogenic deaths don`t always happen as a result of medical errors or dangerous pharmaceuticals. Physicians sometimes knowingly prescribe highly toxic drugs to people who are critically ill. Equipment failure has also been cited as an unavoidable error in some circumstances.

Why so many deaths?

A problem as widespread as iatrogenesis rarely originates from a single source. In their report, the IOM Committee pointed to a few possible causes for medical error:

  • Faulty systems and operating processes
  • The health professional licensing process doesn`t pay enough attention to preventing medical errors
  • Efforts to teach prevention have often encountered resistance from healthcare providers and organizations
  • Lack of financial incentives to improve safety and quality of service

    According to JAMA, the most common causes of adverse drug events (without counting the inherent danger certain drugs pose) are the following:

  • Dose error
  • Known allergy
  • Wrong drug/patient
  • Route error
  • Frequency
  • Missed dose
  • Wrong technique
  • Illegible order
  • Duplicate therapy
  • Drug-drug interaction

    Iatrogenesis now

    The FDA, through its Adverse Events Reporting System, keeps a record of adverse events resulting from drug and therapeutic biologic product use. In 2000 they received 266,866 reports. By 2010 that figure nearly tripled to 758,890. And that`s a conservative figure as, according to a report titled Death by Medicine, only a fraction of medical errors ever get reported.

    Regarding the IOM`s 1999 estimate of medical error related deaths, the Department of Health and Human Services states on its website that "this statistic has not improved much in the following decade." The lack of significant patient safety progress has prompted the Department to launch Partnership for Patients, a public-private partnership with specific goals that includes reducing preventable hospital-acquired conditions by 40% between 2010 and 2013.

    But to the surviving spouse of a patient who succumbed to a hospital-acquired infection (HAI), even reducing 80% of HAIs is not enough. Perhaps now, with a failing economy and Medicare costs projected to rise 91% in the next decade, the double punch of human and economic costs will provide the motivation needed to knockout iatrogenic deaths.


    Dr Barbara Starfield, "Is US Health Really the Best in the World?" The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Vol 284, No 4 (2000): 483 - 485.
    Committee on Quality of Health Care in America, Institute of Medicine, Linda T. Kohn and Janet M. Corrigan, To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System (Washington: The National Academies Press, 2000)
    The Cancer Cure Foundation: Medical Errors - A Leading Cause of Death (
    AHRQ: Reducing and Preventing Adverse Drug Events To Decrease Hospital Costs (
    FDA: Reports Received and Reports Entered into AERS by Year (
    Institute of Medicine, The Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Lecture 2011: New Fontiers in Patient Safety (Washington: The National Academies Press, 2011) Partnership for Patients (


    Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (
    The Empowered Patient Coalition (

    About the author

    Kiva Bottero works with a collective to publish The Mindful Word journal of engaged living. You can visit him online at .

    Get breaking news alerts on GMOs, fluoride, superfoods, natural cures and more...
    Join over four million monthly readers. Email privacy 100% protected. Unsubscribe at any time.

    Have comments on this article? Post them here:

    comments powered by Disqus

    Take Action: Support

    Email this article to a friend

    Permalink to this article:

    Reprinting this article: Non-commercial use OK, cite with clickable link.

    Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):
  • Most Popular
    Today | Week | Month | Year

    See all Top Headlines...

    + a FREE GIFT

    Now Available at

    O3 Essentials OraJuvenate™
    A powerful, cleansing dental cream for maximum oral/dental health.
    New Cancer Solutions
    Over 3 hours of content covering today’s best cancer tests, how to kill cancer cells and the best diets and exercise routines.
    Freeze-Dried 100% Organic Whole Corn
    Our freeze-drying method preserves taste, texture and nutrients better than any other food preservation method ever invented.
    Fenix TK35 Flashlight
    Tough, waterproof, extremely bright and it’s touted to throw an 800+ lumen beam more than 1,000 feet into the night.
    Inca Treasure Smoothie Pack
    This pack of our four most popular superfoods from South America is the perfect combo pack for smoothie lovers.
    Pink Himalayan Salt
    This salt delivers significant levels of magnesium, zinc and selenium, with trace levels of dozens of other elements.
    Pinhole Glasses - Aviator Style
    Pinhole glasses are becoming famous for helping people improve their vision without the risks of laser surgery.
    Oxy-Rich Facial Serum
    O3 Essentials Jojoba Oxy-Rich Facial Serum is cellular nourishment for your skin. Helps smooth fine lines while enhancing tissue elasticity.
    Freeze-Dried 100% Blackberry Halves
    Our freeze-dried blackberry halves are grown in Serbia under strict organic standards.

    Also on NaturalNews:

    Health Ranger Videos
    Activist music
    CounterThink Cartoons
    Food documentaries
    FREE Special Reports
    Colloidal Silver

    Advertise with NaturalNews...

    Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

    Advertise with NaturalNews...

    Most Popular Stories

    Flu shot kills 19-year-old, but vaccine industry still has total immunity against lawsuits
    Here's a nutty fact: Eating more tree nuts lowers the risk of all-cause death by up to 20 percent
    Six important facts you're not being told about lost Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
    Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 now clearly a government cover-up: All evidence contradicts official story
    10 other companies that use the same Subway yoga mat chemical in their buns
    BLM fracking racket exposed! Armed siege and cattle theft from Bundy ranch really about fracking leases
    High-dose vitamin C injections shown to annihilate cancer
    U.S. treating meat with ammonia, bleach and antibiotics to kill the '24-hour sickness'
    USDA to allow U.S. to be overrun with contaminated chicken from China
    Vaccine fraud exposed: Measles and mumps making a huge comeback because vaccines are designed to fail, say Merck virologists
    Battle for humanity nearly lost: global food supply deliberately engineered to end life, not nourish it
    Diet soda, aspartame linked to premature deaths in women

    25 Amazing Facts About Food

    This FREE downloadable report unveils a collection of astonishing and little-known facts about the food we eat very day. Click here to read it now...


    Resveratrol and its Effects on Human Health and Longevity - Myth or Miracle.

    Unlock the secrets of cellular health with the "miracle" nutrient Resveratrol Click here to read it now...


    Nutrition Can Save America

    FREE online report shows how we can save America through a nutrition health care revolution. "Eating healthy is patriotic!" Click here to read it now...

    The Healing Power of Sunlight and Vitamin D

    In this exclusive interview, Dr. Michael Holick reveals fascinating facts on how vitamin D is created and used in the human body to ward off chronic diseases like cancer, osteoporosis, mental disorders and more. Click here to read it now...

    Vaccines: Get the Full Story

    The International Medical Council on Vaccination has released, exclusively through, a groundbreaking document containing the signatures of physicians, brain surgeons and professors, all of which have signed on to a document stating that vaccines pose a significant risk of harm to the health of children. Click here to read it now...

    Health Ranger Storable Organics

    GMO-free, chemical-free foods and superfoods for long-term storage and preparedness. See selection at

    Recommended Resources On:

    Natural News trends
    Health Ranger news
    Natural News GMOs
    Mike Adams tracker
    Natural News photos
    Natural News Global
    Natural News in focus
    Natural News connect
    Natural News shocking stories
    Natural News radar
    Health freedom
    Dr. Paul Offit

    This site is part of the Natural News Network © 2014 All Rights Reserved. Privacy | Terms All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing International, LTD. is not responsible for content written by contributing authors. The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms and those published here. All trademarks, registered trademarks and servicemarks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners.

    eTrust Pro Certified Android app on Google Play

    Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

    Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

    Join over 7 million monthly readers of, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source:

    Your email address *

    Please enter the code you see above*

    No Thanks

    Already have it and love it!

    Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

    * Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.