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Healthcare Mistakes Kill 500,000 Americans Annually

An article in Newsmax Health dated August 26, 2014, by Lynn Allison, contained some shocking news:

Here’s a shocking statistic: Doctors screw up 15 percent of the time.

The consequences of this alarming level of bad decision-making, wrong diagnoses, and just plain incompetence are tragic. It’s one thing when a mechanic, lawyer, plumber, or teacher makes a mistake. When a healthcare provider gets it wrong, the results are often deadly.

Let’s put this in perspective. The death toll from healthcare screw-ups adds up to at least 500,000 Americans annually. That is the equivalent of three jumbo jets crashing every day and killing everyone aboard,” says renowned pharmacy professor and medical author Joe Graedon.

Joe and his wife Terry have written a book called “Top Screwups Doctors Make—and How to Avoid Them.”

The book chronicles case after case of medical mistakes that killed, injured, or maimed patients…..No one is counting the bodies…..there is no outrage, no plan to change a system that allows too many to die unnecessarily. The medical profession seems largely immune to the consequences of its errors.

Misdiagnosis is the biggest problem, says Graedon. This is where it all starts…..if you get the diagnosis wrong in the beginning, it’s all downhill…..It’s the most frequent, most severe, and most costly of medical mistakes in malpractice suits.

One leading physician advocate for patient safety has this to say about the book “Top Screwups Doctors Make—and How to Avoid Them”:

Allan Hamilton, MD, FACS, is professor of surgery and radiation oncology, University of Arizona Health Sciences Center and author of The Scalpel and the Soul. He says:

“Joe and Teresa Graedon have performed an enormous public service by putting this book together. Unfortunately, an epidemic of medical adverse events–preventable lethal mistakes–are destroying the quality of American healthcare. In all my years as a physician and an advocate for a safer, error-free health care system, I have never seen a more practical and readable guide to help patients become more vigilant and proactive in preventing medical errors. If you or someone you love is facing a serious illness or major surgery, defend yourself: Buy this book, read it cover to cover. No one cares more about your life than you do. If you were faced with a lethal threat, you would naturally do everything in your power to defend yourself. Put this book in your holster. Arm yourself. Take it with you to the hospital. And save your own life.”

 

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