Hospital Errors 3rd Leading Cause of Death

  1. 4
    http://www.fiercehealthcare.com/stor...#ixzz2fe8EZ44D

    A new study has come out ranking medical errors in healthcare facilities as the 3rd leading cause of death in the US, behind only heart disease and cancer. What do you all think? I personally find it interesting that the author of this study started a patient safety advocacy group after his 19-year-old son's death was attributed to a medical error. Biased much?
    Irish_Mist, imintrouble, VickyRN, and 1 other like this.
  2. 4,639 Visits
    Find Similar Topics
  3. 25 Comments so far...

  4. 6
    I wish the article gave some more information. What is counted as a medical error? What about the underlying problems that brought the patient to hospital in the first place? How old is the data they are using, and does it show any change with the new emphasis on patient safety?
    There is a bigger emphasis on patient safety compared to when I started in nursing.
  5. 5
    This study uses a wider net than previous studies in that it counts Hospital errors that probably "contributed" to a death, this gives it a higher estimate than previous studies, but according to other researchers who have reviewed the data, it is essentially accurate. The IOM did a study about a decade a go that found Hospitals errors are more directly responsible for about 100,000 deaths a year, making Hospital care the 6th leading cause of death in the US, this finding is widely accepted as a legitimate number. It's actually not all that unreasonable that if hospital care is the direct cause of about 100,000 deaths a year, including more indirect causes would be about three times that.
    HM-8404, jimmyphx74, SoldierNurse22, and 2 others like this.
  6. 1
    I wish this was common knowledge. Patients would be outraged and demand change.
    sapphire18 likes this.
  7. 12
    I'm skeptical. People who go to the hospital are already sick, obviously. Is failing to "cure" this sickness considered an error? Failure to diagnose it properly?


    When people hear "hospital error" they think a nurse giving the wrong med. Or a surgeon removing the wrong organ. Or one patient being misktaken for another. I doubt very much those kinds of errors are the third leading cause of death in the USA.

    Isn't it more likely that our increasingly litigious society has simply widened the definition of "hospital error" to include the inevitable?
  8. 10
    My last shift.

    Patient#1:Stopped taking her warfarin, developed DVT/PE, brain bleed and craniotomy after tPa.

    Patient#2:MSSA septicemia from drug use.

    Patient#3:Viral Gastroenteritis, hepatitis from ETOH use (no plans to stop drinking).

    Patient#4:Stopped going to dialysis to try "alternative medicine" for ESRD.

    Odds are one or more of these geniuses are going to pass away soon, most likely under medical treatment. I'm betting they will end up as one of the "statistics" above.

    Sheesh.
    anotherone, Altra, DizzyLizzyNurse, and 7 others like this.
  9. 4
    Quote from ArtClassRN
    My last shift.

    Patient#1:Stopped taking her warfarin, developed DVT/PE, brain bleed and craniotomy after tPa.

    Patient#2:MSSA septicemia from drug use.


    Patient#3:Viral Gastroenteritis, hepatitis from ETOH use (no plans to stop drinking).

    Patient#4:Stopped going to dialysis to try "alternative medicine" for ESRD.

    Odds are one or more of these geniuses are going to pass away soon, most likely under medical treatment. I'm betting they will end up as one of the "statistics" above.

    Sheesh.
    None of these are counted in the statistics above. Medical errors are not the same as someone dying due to other causes unrelated to their care.

    Deaths due to medical errors includes errors (obviously) as well as other events, complications, etc that are considered to be avoidable, such as central line infections, surgical infections, etc.

    For instance, Central line infections alone cause 35,000 deaths/year in the US, given that this is only one of may ways we kill patients, it shouldn't be too hard to believe that the total could well be 200,000 or more.
    anotherone, HM-8404, Susie2310, and 1 other like this.
  10. 0
    Quote from MunoRN
    None of these are counted in the statistics above. Medical errors are not the same as someone dying due to other causes unrelated to their care.

    Deaths due to medical errors includes errors (obviously) as well as other events, complications, etc that are considered to be avoidable, such as central line infections, surgical infections, etc.

    For instance, Central line infections alone cause 35,000 deaths/year in the US, given that this is only one of may ways we kill patients, it shouldn't be too hard to believe that the total could well be 200,000 or more.
    Quick search on "Google" using keywords "Hospital" and "Error" brought up a number of reports, studies and so forth both relating to the most recent media release and subsequent publications.

    None counted the examples from above but used exactly was MunroRN stated; everything from medical dosage, surgical, central line, IV and so forth "errors". As one publication (Forbes) gave as an example: physician orders Colchicine "10.0 mg" instead of "1.0" mg and neither the pharmacy nor nursing staff catch the error and the drug is administered as ordered. Considering the side effects of an overdose of Colchicine, it isn't going to matter much what the patient's condition was prior to administration; he or she is probably going to have a severe adverse reaction that my likely lead to demise.

    Long story short the study concentrated on things that were done to patients by hospital staff in error.
  11. 1
    Quote from sapphire18
    Hospital medical errors now the third leading cause of death in the U.S. - FierceHealthcare

    A new study has come out ranking medical errors in healthcare facilities as the 3rd leading cause of death in the US, behind only heart disease and cancer. What do you all think? I personally find it interesting that the author of this study started a patient safety advocacy group after his 19-year-old son's death was attributed to a medical error. Biased much?
    Don't think the man is "biased" at all; probably like many others is sick of talking to brick when it comes to getting any major movement from the hospital industry on the matter.

    When you consider much of the published data regarding hospital medical errors does not reflect the entire scope of the problem, patients/consumers have every right to be concerned. Basically they must rely upon what weak federal, state and or local laws want them to know. Even then there are few resources that compile all data into a single format that can be easily accessed and understood.

    Facilities by and large are under no mandate to report *all* medical errors, and as many of you know there is lot, often quite a lot that is swept under the rug. It is all to easy to see what one is looking for than to face the truth. That is how the murdering former nurse Mr. Cullen was able to dispatch scores to their deaths before anyone started to put two and two together. Patient "X" was going to go anyway, or these sort sudden changes of outcomes happen.... So the deaths weren't looked into either on purpose or out of fear of what administrators/hospital owners would find.

    It does seem the only time facilities take major action is when their bottom line is threatened either by legal action from the patient/his or her family or estate; or from some reimbursement body (Medicare/Medicaid) and or finally state or local governments.

    Being as all this may facilities have good reason to worry about reporting all medical errors. In two words, legal action. Places and staff know in a majority of instances once told of an error patients and or their family are going to get lawyered up.
    Susie2310 likes this.
  12. 1
    My Mom recently had a very long hospital stay. She has a brain injury from 30 yrs ago (MVA) and now suffers many repercussions, including seizures.

    I'll try and make this short. She was having continual seizures and was brought to the ER. They got her under control after 30min or so. In the ER they drew the wrong labs. I pointed it out to the Doctor, as he thought she was not taking her seizure meds. This was never corrected. Additionally, when I was finally allowed to see her, I noticed she was still having small seizures, and I asked to see the Doctor. We were finally transferred to the Neuro ICU where she stayed for 3 days. There I had issues with her getting her seizure medications on time (5 hours late). Then, we were transferred to the Neuro floor. She suddenly became incontinent, she was not sleeping due to this. Also, She became tachycardic; she was having extreme anxiety. The next day I asked the nurse if she was taking her Detrol and Effexor. Come to find out the medications were discontinued. When I spoke to the Doctor he really had no answer for me as to what happened, nor did he care. Had I not been there I fear what would have happened to my Mom.

    I am a nursing student in my last year. I am learning from all of this, but at the same time this frightens me.
    Susie2310 likes this.


Top