In the United States due to medical errors in hospitals each year 195,000 people die

In the period from 2000 to 2003 as a result of medical errors that could have been prevented, died in hospital an average of 195,000 people, according to a new study case histories of 37 million patients, published by HealthGrades, dedicated to quality health care.

This study was the first who considered the mortality and economic impact of medical errors and injuries that occurred during hospitalization for Medicare across the country from 2000 to 2002. HealthGrades used the study of patterns of mortality and economic impact indicators developed by Zhang Chunli and Marlene Miller and published them in the Journal of the American Medical Association (Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)) in October 2003. This work generally supports the report of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of 1999, which reported that medical errors each year are fatal to 98,000 people, which should be considered as an epidemic across the country.

The results of a study conducted by HealthGrades, the figures show mortality is twice that given in the 1999 IOM report "To err is human." The damage caused by these deaths exceed $ 8 billion a year. Report of the IOM extrapolated to the whole country data obtained from the three states, Zhang and Miller analyzed 7.5 million medical records of the 28 states in one year, and HealthGrades examined Medicare data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia for three years from 2000 to 2002.

Vice president for medical HealthGrade Dr. Samantha Collier says that "the study by HealthGrades found that the IOM report does not fully take into account the number of deaths caused by medical errors. In addition, one can not say that for the last five years, the safety of patients in hospitals somehow improved. Each year, died in hospital from easily preventable errors could fill 390 wide-bodied aircraft. This means that medical errors are a major cause of death in the United States. "

In HealthGrades examined 16 of the 20 patient safety indicators developed by the Agency to study the quality of health care (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) — from bedsores to post-operative sepsis. Were not considered in the study, four criteria related to pediatrics, as on the Medicare program information they are not given. majority of deaths of patients was associated with two of the 16 indicators — the failure to provide immediate relief and death on admission to hospital in a non-hazardous for the life of the state. These two categories of patients were not considered in the IOM report and published in the JAMA article, which explains the discrepancy in the number of deaths caused by medical errors. scope of the problem, however, is seen in all three studies.

"If we were able to concentrate our efforts on four main areas — emergency assistance, pressure ulcers, postoperative sepsis, and postoperative pulmonary embolism — and reduce the number of such cases at least 20% every year we could save 39,000 people", — said Dr. Collier.

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