Medical errors account for an estimated 98,000 deaths each year in the United States. These deaths are preventable. However, they are rarely reported and not tracked. These unfortunate facts remain major stumbling blocks to significant reform in healthcare today.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that an additional 99,000 hospital patients die from hospital acquired infections.
Because there is no national medical error reporting system, we can only rely on estimates. However, these figures are alarming. These estimates point to 200,000 Americans dying each year from preventable medical errors and infections.
Yet, the insurance lobby will have you believe the real problem in healthcare reform is medical malpractice. However, the estimated statistics paint a different picture. Medical errors and malpractice can’t be addressed and resolved if there is no transparency in the system.
The national investigation undertaken by Hearst newspapers, which is available online at http://www.chron.com/deadbymistake chronicles the safety issues at the heart of the healthcare crisis in this country.
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