Medical Errors are the THIRD leading cause of death?
Medical error is the 3rd leading cause of death according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. (JAMA) "Is US Health Really the Best in the World?" July 26, 2000 Vol. 284 No. 4, p. 483-485. As many 98,000 hospital patients die each year from preventable medical mistakes while over 7,000 die from medication errors alone, according to the studies of the National Institute of Medicine in its "To Err is Human" report of 1999.
Harvard professor and medical doctor Lucian Leape found that the studies of medical error were not exaggerated (JAMA July 5, 2000 Vol. 284 p. 95-97) and concluded from his own studies of thousands of hospitals' charts that "there is a substantial amount of injury to patients from medical management and many injuries are the result of substandard care" "Incidence of Adverse Events and Negligence in Hospitalized Patients" The New England Journal of Medicine Vol. 324 Feb. 7, 1991 p. 370-376.
Public Citizen, a national consumer not-for-profit released a report in March 2004 (The Facts About Medical Malpractice in Pennsylvania) extrapolating the Institute of Medicine findings and concluded that over 4,000 patients died in Pennsylvania Hospitals in 2003 from preventable medical mistakes. On April 14, 2004, Public Citizen reported that Pennsylvania's Professional medical Board ranked among the ten worst in the country in disciplining physicians. "Public Citizen ranks Performance of State Medical Boards in 2003".
And the Journal of Medicine published additional studies concluding that adverse drug events are common and often preventable among older persons in the ambulatory clinical setting "Incidence and Preventability of Adverse Drug Events Among Older Persons in the Ambulatory Setting" JAMA Vol. 289, No. 9 March 5, 2003 p. 1107-1115. Physicians further concluded that the causes of injury were rooted at the deepest policy and organizational levels of medical care and patient safety efforts should focus on medical errors. JAMA Vol. 287 No. 15 April 17, 2002 p. 1997-2001.
We have accumulated a wealth of information and articles clearly showing the poor state of US health care and the devestating results of medical errors.
Is US Health Really the Best in the World? Journal of American Medicine, July 26th 2000. Click here to download article (pdf, 272 kb)
Doctors are the Number Three Cause of Death in the U.S.- Dr. Joseph Mercola, author of the Total Health Program. Click here to download article (pdf, 359 kb)
Legislators are accusing doctors of deliverately misleading lawmakers and the public. The Citizens Voice, May 17th, 2004. Click here to download article (pdf, 116 kb)