According to the Scientific American, a shocking number of individuals die from doctor's mistakes at hospitals every year. The Institute of Medicine released figures back in 1999 in a report called "To Err Is Human" which claimed that up to 98,000 people die per year because of mistakes made in hospitals. At the time of the article released, some physicians disputed the numbers, but now doctors and hospitals widely accept that the figure is somewhat accurate.
Yet every time that researches estimate how often a medical mistake contributes to a patient's death, it seems that the numbers escalate. After the 1999 figures were finally estimated, another estimate came out. The Office of the Inspector General for Health and Human Services announced that bad hospital care contributed to the deaths of 180,000 patients in Medicare alone in any given year. These figures were announced in 2010.
Most recently, the Journal of Patient Safety issued an article that claims that the current patient death rate due to a hospital mistake rests between 210,000 and 440,000 patients per year. If these figures are correct, then medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in America behind heart disease and cancer. The American Hospital Association has responded to the study by claiming that the figures from the Institute of Medicine are probably more accurate than these new figures.
Unfortunately, there is no way to know the exact numbers of faiths, as hospitals fail to report their negligence in many cases. Instead, researchers can only arrive at broad approximations. Patient safety experts say that it is still essential to continue measuring the problem in an effort to improve the issue.
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