A new survey of data from 50 states concluded that medical errors are killing 195,000 people a year in American hospitals ? double the previous estimate. HealthGrades, a private company that rates hospitals for insurers and health plans, said that if hospital errors were included on the nation’s list of the leading causes of death, they would show up as No. 6 ? ahead of diabetes, pneumonia and Alzheimer’s.
Over at Aspasia, Jonathan, who is four weeks into his surgery clerkship, responds to this news:
This is curious, because just last night I was telling a friend how there’s “no way” malpractice is as uncommon as popularly imagined. Four weeks of surgery and I’ve seen shit that’s turned me white. Now if someone did a study looking at non-lethal complications, just imagine what that number would be.
So maybe ambulance chasing lawyers aren’t the biggest cause of malpractice suits after all. Maybe malpractice is.