The Real Toll of Medical Errors

The book Death by Medicine makes some startling claims about the severity of medical errors in our country. According to the authors, the problem is analogous to six jumbo jet crashing to the ground and killing every one on a daily basis. That’s over a million deaths each year that are attributable to medical intervention that went awry.
According to the Star Phoenix, “Citing reports in prominent medical journals, the authors summarize premature deaths annually from a variety of causes: 420,000 from adverse drug reactions within hospitals alone – 115,000 from hospital bedsores, 99,000 from hospital infections – 108,800 within nursing homes, 199,000 from outpatient clinics, 37,136 due to unnecessary procedures and 32,000 from surgery.”
The numbers are epidemic in proportion and require immediate attention if the problem is to be rectified. Such a situation is thoroughly unacceptable in a civil society that considers itself technologically advanced.