In our book MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures, we remind readers that hospitals can be dangerous places.
We draw attention to this disturbing state of affairs in a chapter titled “Medical tests you may not need and procedures that may kill you.” (See our blog of December 28). And we refer to an article the Huffington Post ran on April 3, 2013. Quoting the Institute of Medicine, it reports, “100,000 people die every year due to medical error — more deaths than from car accidents, diabetes, and pneumonia. Far more patients are victims of medical error”.
The report also quotes “a stunning” 2011 Health Affairs article in which researchers apparently discovered that medical errors occurred in one-third of all hospitalized patients. “A separate study of Medicare patients found that one in seven people in the hospital experience at least one unintended harm”.
Further excerpts follow from Medical Industrial Complex:
The Huffington Post report identifies the following as “the 10 common medical errors that can occur in the hospital”: Misdiagnosis, unnecessary treatment, unnecessary tests and deadly procedures, medication mistakes, ‘never events’ (events that should never happen), uncoordinated care, infections (from hospital to patient), not-so-accidental ‘accidents,’ missed warning signs and premature discharge (from hospital).
According to the report, misdiagnosis is the most common type of medical error in a hospital; $700 billion is spent every year on unnecessary tests and treatments; medication mistakes affect 1.5 million Americans annually; ‘never events’ (such as scissors being left in patients’ bodies) happen all too often; hospital-acquired infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control, affect 1.7 million people annually and cause nearly 100,000 deaths every year; and malfunctioning medical devices cause tens of thousands of “accidents” in hospitals every year.
“Whenever a doctor cannot do good, he must be kept from doing harm.” -Hippocrates
Choosing Wisely, that worthy medical initiative referred to earlier, reports that “three out of four US physicians say the frequency with which doctors order unnecessary medical tests and procedures is a serious problem for America’s health care system—but just as many say that the average physician orders unnecessary medical tests and procedures at least once a week”.
If that admission (by US physicians) has been accurately reported – as appears to be the case given Choosing Wisely’s impressive credentials and reputation for accuracy – then that raises alarm bells. We suspect the estimates are very conservative and the actual incidence of doctors going overboard on medical tests is even higher. Possibly much higher.
Medical Industrial Complex is Bk #3 in The Underground Knowledge Series and is available exclusively via Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/MEDICAL-INDUSTRIAL-COMPLEX-Suppressed-Underground-ebook/dp/B00Y8Y3TUM/