May 09, 2016

    Mistakes - human or machine - kill 250k US patients


    MEDICAL error is the third largest contributor of death in the United States, according to an analysis published last week in medical journal BMJ.

    In 2013, at least 250,000 people died not from the illnesses or injuries that prompted them to seek hospital care but from preventable mistakes.

    That number exceeds deaths from strokes and Alzheimer's combined and is topped only by heart disease and cancer, which each claims about 600,000 lives per year.

    The death toll would be even higher if nursing homes and outpatient care were included, said the researchers.

    Experts do not know the exact number of people who die from botched surgeries, faulty prescriptions or a computer glitch simply because no one is keeping count.