February 24, 2024

New study doubles number of US deaths caused by hospital error

As many as 195,000 people a year die in hospital because of easily prevented mistakes, says a US health research company, HealthGrades Inc. A 1999 study by the Institute of Medicine had found that the figure was 98,000, but Dr Samantha Collier, of HealthGrade, says that this underestimated the number of deaths. Her figures include failures to rescue dying patients and the death of low-risk patients from infections, neither of which were included in the previous study. “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,” commented Dr Collier.