New information says medical errors are now 210,000 per year

An updated estimate says at least 210,000 patients die from medical mistakes in U.S. hospitals a year. (File, Scott Olson/Getty Images)

An updated estimate says at least 210,000 patients die from medical mistakes in U.S. hospitals a year. (File, Scott Olson/Getty Images)

In 1998, researchers calculated the number of deaths due to preventable hospital errors at 98,000 per year based on the evidence they had at the time.  Those same researchers have re-calculated the number with new data at 210,000 per year in preventable deaths.  That study, which is found here

, would make medical mistakes the third biggest killer in the US, and they estimate that number could be as high as 400,000 per year.  The new study includes more adverse events than the previous report, which many hospitals also do not report.   Adverse events are estimated to be only reported 69 percent of the time.  That number times the risk of a fatal medical mistake and the number of hospital admissions in the US brings the new estimate to 210,000.  While not all of these deaths can be attributed to lack of staffing or failure to maintain a minimum standard of care in hospitals, the report concludes that more oversight, and therefore more staffing, is needed to maintain the vigilance necessary to keep patients safe in hospitals in the US.

 

 

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