by John Weeks, Publisher Editor of The Integrator Blog News & Reports Study puts annual deaths from regular medicine at 210,000 440,000 the nation’s 3rd largest killer The title of the story was a question “How Many Die from Medical Mistakes in

by John Weeks, Publisher/Editor of The Integrator Blog News & Reports 

Study puts annual deaths from regular medicine at 210,000-440,000 – the nation’s 3rd largest killer

The title of the story was a question: “How Many Die from Medical Mistakes in the U.S.?” A new study in the current issue of the Journal of Patient Safety estimates that number as between 210,000 and 440,000 patients each year “who go to the hospital for care [then] suffer some type of preventable harm that contributes to their death.” The seminal Institute of Medicine report from 2000 that brought deaths from medical errors into the light put the figure at 98,000. Then, in 2010, the Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services suggested that hospital care contributed to the deaths of 180,000 patients in Medicare alone in a given year. The new estimates were developed by John T. James, a toxicologist at NASA‘s space center in Houston who runs an advocacy organization called Patient Safety America. The story notes that this “would make medical errors the third-leading cause of death in America, behind heart disease, which is the first, and cancer, which is second.” A spokesman from the American Hospital Association reportedly stated that they are “more comfortable with” the IOM’s 98,000 estimate.

Comment: One possible response to this information is what a friend does when thinking of the extinction of species. She opens her heart and takes it in the magnitude of the news. This causes wailing. Snide asides are an easier, protective response: And this from a system that had us believing that it’s the best in the world? Or: And they’ve the gall to lambaste “CAM” for questionable safety?! How does one cross the bridge from the Hippocratic “above all do no harm” to become the nation’s 3rd largest killer? Plenty of shame to go around. Question is, can shame corrode the finery and lifestyle that shell-up the captains of the $2.8-trillion industry?