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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
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1 posted on 07/27/2004 4:28:55 PM PDT by Indy Pendance
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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)
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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.")
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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)
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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)
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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 !)
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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.")
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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!)
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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.)
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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
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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
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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
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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 )
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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?)
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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
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To: KarlInOhio

Wow, good you were viligant.


16 posted on 07/27/2004 5:12:33 PM PDT by Indy Pendance
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To: Indy Pendance

195,000 new democrat voters.


17 posted on 07/27/2004 5:13:40 PM PDT by Rebelbase (Former fetus.)
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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
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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.)
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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)
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