Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

August 11, 2009


Houston Chronicle - Experts estimate that a staggering 98,000 people die from preventable medical errors each year. More Americans die each month of preventable medical injuries than died in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

In addition, a federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study concluded that 99,000 patients a year succumb to hospital-acquired infections. Almost all of those deaths, experts say, also are preventable.

These numbers are not absolutes. There is no definitive study - which is part of the problem - but all of the available research indicates that the death toll from preventable medical injuries approaches 200,000 per year in the United States. . .

A national investigation by Hearst Newspapers found that the medical community, the federal government and most states have overwhelmingly failed to take the effective steps outlined in the report a decade ago.

Hearst also found that in states like California that have put some regulations in place, hospitals often ignore the rules without penalty.

Consequently, over that period, as many as 2 million Americans have died needlessly of preventable medical mistakes. . .

The AMA and the American Hospital Association vehemently opposed an attempt by President Bill Clinton to create a mandatory reporting system for serious errors. . .

By contrast, Americans know exactly how many people die from car accidents each year because lawmakers long ago decided that was a step toward preventing them.


Anonymous Rub some dirt on it and get back in there. said...

No problem. We can have some more tort reform to limit the damage. You can't sue your doctor in a democracy because his welfare counts and yours doesn't. And you thought the AMA doesn't care if you live or die as long as you pay. Whose health is the health care industry taking care of,'cause it sure ain't yours.

August 11, 2009 1:56 PM  

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