Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Report Says 195,000 Deaths Due to Hospital Error
Reuters ^ | 7-27-04

Posted on 07/27/2004 4:28:54 PM PDT by Indy Pendance

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As many as 195,000 people a year could be dying in U.S. hospitals because of easily prevented errors, a company said on Tuesday in an estimate that doubles previous figures.

Lakewood, Colorado-based HealthGrades Inc. said its data covers all 50 states and is more up-to-date than a 1999 study from the Institute of Medicine that said 98,000 people a year die from medical errors.

"The HealthGrades study shows that the IOM report may have underestimated the number of deaths due to medical errors, and, moreover, that there is little evidence that patient safety has improved in the last five years," said Dr. Samantha Collier, vice president of medical affairs at the company.

The company, which rates hospitals based on a variety of criteria and provides information to insurers and health plans, said its researchers looked at three years of Medicare data in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

"This Medicare population represented approximately 45 percent of all hospital admissions (excluding obstetric patients) in the U.S. from 2000 to 2002," the company said in a statement.

HealthGrades included as mistakes failure to rescue dying patients and the death of low-risk patients from infections -- neither of which the Institute of Medicine report included.

It said it found about 1.14 million "patient-safety incidents" occurred among the 37 million hospitalizations.

"Of the total 323,993 deaths among Medicare patients in those years who developed one or more patient-safety incidents, 263,864, or 81 percent, of these deaths were directly attributable to the incidents," it added.

"One in every four Medicare patients who were hospitalized from 2000 to 2002 and experienced a patient-safety incident died."

The U.S. government said it is trying to spearhead a move to get hospitals and clinics to use electronic databases and prescribing methods. The Institute of Medicine report said many deaths were due to medication prescribing errors or to errors in delivering medications.

"If the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's annual list of leading causes of death included medical errors, it would show up as number six, ahead of diabetes, pneumonia, Alzheimer's disease and renal disease," Collier said.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: deathtoll; healthcare

1 posted on 07/27/2004 4:28:55 PM PDT by Indy Pendance
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Indy Pendance

2 posted on 07/27/2004 4:30:05 PM PDT by Jenya (Gore, he's a real nowhere man, sitting in his nowhere land, making all his nowhere plans for nobody)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Indy Pendance
As many as 195,000 people a year could be dying

Well? Are they dying or not? Typical Reuters hype and hysteria. And the march towards socialized medicine goose-steps onward.

3 posted on 07/27/2004 4:32:34 PM PDT by TomServo ("I'm so upset that I'll binge on a Saltine.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Indy Pendance

Has John Edwards repealed his decision to be Kerry's running mate yet?


4 posted on 07/27/2004 4:32:45 PM PDT by Texas Eagle (If it wasn't for double-standards, Liberals would have no standards at all)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Jenya
Oops, wrong place.

Then again, there's always room for a Hillary slam.

5 posted on 07/27/2004 4:33:05 PM PDT by Jenya (Gore, he's a real nowhere man, sitting in his nowhere land, making all his nowhere plans for nobody)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: TomServo
And the march towards socialized medicine goose-steps onward.

For the sake of argument, let's take 195,000 as dead-on accurate. Under socialized medicine, will this figure go up or down ?

Anyone ? .. Anyone ?
6 posted on 07/27/2004 4:39:44 PM PDT by clyde asbury (Insulting libsnob longhaired artsyfartsy slagpunk francophile comsymps since 1990 !)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: clyde asbury
With the Gov't involved? And the bunch of screwed-up, malcontent, pencil-pushing lard-asses?

I'd be dead before I got out of bed.

If I could get out of bed.

7 posted on 07/27/2004 4:43:02 PM PDT by TomServo ("I'm so upset that I'll binge on a Saltine.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Indy Pendance
Yeah, I remember a report coming out in the early to mid 1990s that said the same thing. TheBentOne, Impeached42, even used these "facts" in a speech to promote his lame ass social medicine policy. (I don't think it was Hitlery Care, but it might have been...)

At any rate, the guy who occupied the Oval Office for eight years tried to blame all sorts of deaths on mere mistakes...saying government ought to be more involved.

Quietly, about 4 or 5 months later, that study/stats were announced to be FLAWED. And it was said REAL quietly. I never heard the perjurer bring up those stats again.

8 posted on 07/27/2004 4:53:11 PM PDT by Recovering_Democrat (I'm so glad to no longer be associated with the Party of Dependence on Government!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Indy Pendance

A physician I know was telling me about his friend's invention that should save about 20,000 lives per year. It's a combination skin moisterizer and hand sanitizer liquid. It seems that lots of medical personnel don't wash their hands between patients, because if they did their hands would get all chapped from being washed so often. So they bring germs from one patient to another in hospital settings


9 posted on 07/27/2004 4:58:54 PM PDT by SauronOfMordor (That which does not kill me had better be able to run away damn fast.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SauronOfMordor

I thought of that. My kid is in the medical field and has to wash hand all the time. We can't find a solution to the chapped hands issue. It's a huge problem. Gloves?


10 posted on 07/27/2004 5:00:50 PM PDT by Indy Pendance
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Indy Pendance

Gloves don't work without handwashing. I'm a hospital nurse, and we wash hands or use sanitizer before touching a patient and after we finish. It's essential.

On the other hand, when was the last time your doctor washed his hands before touching you?

Think about it.


11 posted on 07/27/2004 5:05:30 PM PDT by Judith Anne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Judith Anne

I rarely go to the doctor, but you are right, he never washes his hands in front of me. That's interesting about gloves. Why won't they work?


12 posted on 07/27/2004 5:07:31 PM PDT by Indy Pendance
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Indy Pendance

just remember... not everybody has a gun, but, EVERYBODY has a doctor.

what do you call a doctor who finished LAST in his class???

DOCTOR

13 posted on 07/27/2004 5:07:46 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist )
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Indy Pendance

Not all that surprising. Recently I had to get some stitches (chain link fence 1, toe 0) and told the nurse that I was allergic to neosporin. After the physician's assistant stitched me up he opened up a tube and was about to put some neosporin on the wound before I asked him what was in the tube and stopped him. The ink wasn't even dry on the form which said I was allergic to it.


14 posted on 07/27/2004 5:11:03 PM PDT by KarlInOhio (Sandy, is that a top secret document in your pants or are you just happy to see me?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Chode

I have an engineering degree. I was a non-traditional student. So many younger students were so worried about their GPA. I told them, when was the last time you asked you doctor what his GPA was in med school. Puts it all into perspective, doesn't it?


15 posted on 07/27/2004 5:11:40 PM PDT by Indy Pendance
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: KarlInOhio

Wow, good you were viligant.


16 posted on 07/27/2004 5:12:33 PM PDT by Indy Pendance
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Indy Pendance

195,000 new democrat voters.


17 posted on 07/27/2004 5:13:40 PM PDT by Rebelbase (Former fetus.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Indy Pendance

There is no way to prevent it. The hands need to be scrubbed. Period.


18 posted on 07/27/2004 5:15:23 PM PDT by ShadowDancer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Indy Pendance

Wow, using admittedly simplistic math, that makes going to the hospital at least four times more deadly than driving.


19 posted on 07/27/2004 5:16:48 PM PDT by RobRoy (You only "know" what you experience. Everything else is mere belief.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Indy Pendance
My wife has a number of health problems. While she was having back surgery to correct one of these problems the nurses repeatedly tried to give her the wrong meds. She was out of it on pain meds so she couldn't correct the nurses. Once her nurse tried to give her 10X the amount of insulin that was required. I'm sure it would have killed my wife.

I told her she could no longer come into my wife's room. I then had it put on her chart that she could receive no meds without my approval. I told the doctor about it and he just shook his head as if exasperated by it all.

20 posted on 07/27/2004 5:24:54 PM PDT by Straight Vermonter (Instaurare omnia in Christo)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Indy Pendance

Puts it all into perspective, doesn't it?

and there it is...

21 posted on 07/27/2004 5:25:33 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist )
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Indy Pendance
Okay, any time you touch a patient in a room you are going to pick up whatever germs that patient has on his/her skin. If you have gloves on, you take them off and throw them in the trash with your hands. Snap-shotting the gloves off, as in some TV shows, can aerosolize germs, and is bad practice.

Say you then go into the next room with staph on your hands, and then you put on gloves with your dirty hands. The staph will be on the outside of the gloves from when you pulled them out of the box and put them on. If the second patient has a surgical wound, and you change a dressing with the now-contaminated gloves, what have you done? You've transferred the staph from the patient in 129 to the patient in 131.

Does that explain it? Plus, whatever the nurse touches in the hall--say she shakes hands with a visitor who spent the drive to the hospital picking his nose in the car (MRSA) or didn't wash hands after using the bathroom, etc. etc.

Hospital surfaces are not sterile. If a nurse drops her pen and picks it up off the floor, then doesn't wash them before putting your eye drops in after your eye surgery....

22 posted on 07/27/2004 5:25:48 PM PDT by Judith Anne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Straight Vermonter

You're right --- and people should look at what is going on in health care --- good nurses and doctors get fed up and leave the field, in some areas many foreign doctors and nurses are being brought in --- not from the same foreign country many times, and unable to communicate with each other. Hospitals try to save money by hiring aides with no education but you can't tell who is an aide and who is a nurse by the way they're dressed. There can be serious understaffing also and a good nurse can make a bad mistake if overworked and exhuasted.

You really need to be watching out carefully --- don't trust your health and life to just anyone --- some health workers are excellent --- but the organization is only as strong as it's weakest link.


23 posted on 07/27/2004 5:32:13 PM PDT by FITZ
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Judith Anne
So, I leave the doctor's office, get in my germ infested car, head to the grocery store, grab a cart (OH MY GOD!), and just go about my business. Or, I'm too sick to go to the grocery story, I'll just stop at the drug store ..... Get my drift? We need to remove trial lawyers. Non of this would happen if we got back to common sense.

Wow, have we become a paranoid nation.

24 posted on 07/27/2004 5:32:30 PM PDT by Indy Pendance
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Judith Anne
Plus, whatever the nurse touches in the hall--say she shakes hands with a visitor who spent the drive to the hospital picking his nose in the car (MRSA) or didn't wash hands after using the bathroom, etc. etc.

omg! lol Very true - but ewww

After that rant I think we'll all be a bit more compulsive about hand washing!

Which reminds me, Last week I had this very nice Barnes & Noble cashier wait on me - after ringing up my purchases I asked if I could get things gift wrapped - she said she would be glad to do it, and while we were at the wrap station she confessed that ANY excuse she can get to get away from the "dirty" money she takes - and she added when she goes to the restroom - she washes her hands BEFORE she does her business then of course after too - I was thinking, geez you really need to get a job - she's a cashier in a book store, not a toll taker.

I must admit after my conversation with her I started to think of all the money I've handled never thinking twice.

25 posted on 07/27/2004 5:33:50 PM PDT by SunnyUsa
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Judith Anne

Not just the sick patients either --- the family with active TB who comes into the hospital to visit their loved one --- or sits for hours in a waiting area ---- spreading their germs to your loved ones, who then come up to visit you. Or a family of someone with a resistant bacteria --- carrying the bacteria in or on themselves, spreading it whereever they go in the hospital or to whoever they come in contact with.


26 posted on 07/27/2004 5:35:32 PM PDT by FITZ
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Straight Vermonter
I told her she could no longer come into my wife's room. I then had it put on her chart that she could receive no meds without my approval. I told the doctor about it and he just shook his head as if exasperated by it all.

Good for you, unfortunately the next best thing for a patient to be their own best advocate is to have a family member watching out for them, unfortunately not everyone has that luxury.

Good Nurses are underpaid for all the stress and responsibility they have....

27 posted on 07/27/2004 5:36:55 PM PDT by SunnyUsa
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Judith Anne

Handwashing by the nurses and doctors help --- but no one is really making sure that they do --- but there's also pharmacy, dietary, housekeeping, lab, maintenance, X-ray. And does the mop water get changed between rooms?


28 posted on 07/27/2004 5:38:29 PM PDT by FITZ
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Indy Pendance

bump


29 posted on 07/27/2004 5:46:31 PM PDT by nkycincinnatikid
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Indy Pendance
"If the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's annual list of leading causes of death included medical errors, it would show up as number six, ahead of diabetes, pneumonia, Alzheimer's disease and renal disease," Collier said.

Collier needs to do some fact-checking. The Centers for Disease Control annual list of leading causes of death does, indeed, include medical errors.
30 posted on 07/27/2004 5:49:17 PM PDT by aruanan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Indy Pendance

This kind of report comes out every year. But it also seems a little overdone. I got the bran cupcake once instead of the tangerine with my meal, but somehow survived.


31 posted on 07/27/2004 5:50:09 PM PDT by RightWhale (Withdraw from the 1967 UN Outer Space Treaty and establish property rights)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Indy Pendance; FITZ
Wow, have we become a paranoid nation.

It's not that, think of the patients with wounds, or who are immune compromised from say, chemo.

Hospitals are notorious for passing infections from one patient to another. Lots of safeguards are in place, but handwashing is critical, and often overlooked. Gloves are meaningless without it, as I illustrated above.

Fitz, the mop water contains a disinfectant. A STRONG one.

32 posted on 07/27/2004 5:56:50 PM PDT by Judith Anne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: clyde asbury

The 195,000 hospital death figure will go way down under socialized medicine. Those folks will die at home waiting for a hospital bed instead.


33 posted on 07/27/2004 6:11:36 PM PDT by dmcnash
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Straight Vermonter
It's worse than that. All doctors know is to throw drugs at a problem. We're in a heck of a fix with my mom. She's on 4 or 5 various drugs for depression, anxiety, etc. These drugs cost over $400.00 a month and she's as addicted to these drugs as any cocaine addict.

What's worse she's miserable and has been for years.

34 posted on 07/27/2004 6:19:37 PM PDT by Conservativegreatgrandma
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: SauronOfMordor

Why not use ordinary moisturizer from a pump dispenser, after washing with something like Lever 2000 antibacterial bar soap which is very easy on skin. I use Lever 2000 antibacterial bar soap all the time in the winter and I don't chap.


35 posted on 07/27/2004 6:21:30 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: HiTech RedNeck

For a nurse, I'm washing my hands or using disinfectant 50+ times per 12 hour shift. Lanolin based hand lotion can degrade latex gloves (I'm allergic, use vinyl) so we use one with no lanolin or petroleum, which is not as effective.


36 posted on 07/27/2004 7:06:12 PM PDT by Judith Anne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: Judith Anne

Yes --- if they mix it right or change it when they should --- but how carefully are things like that always checked? I've seen some filthy hospital floors --- blood from a previous patient on the floor. I was shocked at a bathroom near an Emergency Room with used dirty toilet paper thrown on the floor piled up in each stall. It was obviously used by some pretty disgusting people --- more than one --- and hadn't been cleaned for hours.


37 posted on 07/27/2004 7:07:01 PM PDT by FITZ
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: FITZ

Agreed. I've never seen that, though, at our small hospitals.


38 posted on 07/27/2004 7:09:43 PM PDT by Judith Anne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: dmcnash

One good thing with some of the costs savings by insurance companies was to send people home sooner --- there are less complications and risk of disease --- people with Open Heart surgery used to stay a couple weeks and now go home in 5 days, OB patients often stay less than 24 hours --- all that means few visitors and less time for hospital acquired infections.


39 posted on 07/27/2004 7:12:25 PM PDT by FITZ
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: FITZ

I watched my M-in-L treated for a stroke in a Florida hospital, and compared to hospitals I'd visited around here in Cincinnati , I thought I was in Mexico.( My wife went to Wal Mart and bought them some fans as the AC wasn't working in the facility FOR DAYS) But then I spent the only two hours I've ever spent as a patient, in a major hospital up here for a simple hernia repair ,and wound up with an abcess , worse than the damn hernia , from a staff infection. This story rings true to my ( thank the Lord) limited real experience in hospitals.


40 posted on 07/31/2004 6:42:52 PM PDT by nkycincinnatikid
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: nkycincinnatikid

Yes --- the patient or the family has to really keep an eye on how things are, how competent the staff seems because some are run well and others are not. Some can look good on the surface but behind the scenes are not.

If your doctor is very good and experienced and your insurance gives you a choice, the doctor usually has a pretty good idea which hospitals are better.


41 posted on 07/31/2004 7:20:46 PM PDT by FITZ
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: Indy Pendance

BIG Medicine - BAD!


42 posted on 07/31/2004 7:36:38 PM PDT by Libertina (Photoshop is our friend - just ask John Bunny-Suit Kerry ;))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Indy Pendance

Some talk show caller made a great point that Kerry went on and on about research for and cures for new diseases - BUT as soon as a drug company spends all the money to develop the successful drug - the liberals start screaming that the company is price gouging the citizens. Wonder how they think research and development is paid for? Twits!


43 posted on 07/31/2004 7:39:54 PM PDT by Libertina (Photoshop is our friend - just ask John Bunny-Suit Kerry ;))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson