Disturbing Statistics on Medical Errors

As Governor Blagojevich prepares to sign the recently passed medical malpractice reform bill, I thought it helpful to consider some national statistics on doctor and hospital error:

*3% or more of hospital patients are hurt by medical error.

*1 in 300 patients die from such mistakes. In U.S. aviation only 1 in 5 million flights ends in a deadly accident.

*24% of people say they or a family member have been harmed by a medical error.

*90,000 people die of hospital-acquired infections annually. More than half of these deaths may be preventable.

*180,000 elderly outpatients die or are seriously injured by drug toxicity. Half of these incidents may be preventable.

*7,000 patients die from drug errors each year.

*554 errors in four months were found at one six-bed intensive care unit; 147 were potentially serious or life-threatening.

*55% of recommended care actually gets administered.

*$2,000 Annual cost to employers per insured worker, due to poor-quality care.

Sources: Lucian Leape; New England Journal of Medicine; CDC; Forbes; Journal of the American Medical Association; Institute of Medicine; Quality and Safety in Health Care; RAND; Midwest Business Group on Health.

The real slap in the face to Illinois citizens is the fact that ISMIE Mutual (Illinois largest malpractice insurer) has not guaranteed lower doctors’ malpractice insurance rates in light of the new reform laws.

We strongly encourage anyone opposed to the bill to write Gov. Blagojevich asking him to veto the bill.

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