We worry about terrorists and shootings, but nearly 1/6 of the deaths in the United States could be from medical mistakes!
We all know the major dangers in America today aren't terrorists or giant hurricanes—it's cancer and heart disease that are doing all the killing. But what's next on the list isn't something your doctor will be able to treat. In fact, doctors are the sole cause of it!
The third biggest cause of death in America is medical mistakes. According to a recent issue of Journal of Patient Safety, the number of patients susceptible to mistakes is staggering. Between 210,000 and 440,000 patients that take a trip to the hospital suffer a type of preventable harm that contributes to their death per year.
There is some dispute about that number, however. A spokesman for the American Hospital Association is confident that the number is closer to 98,000 deaths per year, even though three prominent patient safety researchers claimed Journal of Patient Safety's study had credible methods.
If the 440,000 number is correct, that would be roughly one-sixth of all deaths in the United States each year. Turns out going in for your usual checkup can be dangerous after all!