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I gave the number for diabetic deaths because it's human nature to focus on a more spectacular event (and dehiscence is certainly that) to the detriment of conditions such as strokes and heart attacks (which are the main causes of diabetic deaths).
My (poorly-made) point was that the numbers lack much meaning without the reasons behind them. This is usually summarized as the risk/benifit ratio. In other words, how bad is the condtion and how risky is the treatment. Moreover, the fact that 32,000 deaths occured may not be in dispute, but, underlying conditions may play a large role (age, other conditions, long-debilitatiing illness, etc.). Was the condition life-threatening leading to surgery under sub-optimal conditions?
the numbers lack much meaning without the reasons behind them
According to the first paragraph of the article:
A new study of hospital-related injuries suggests worries about patient safety have been well founded: Injuries ranging from post-surgical infections to re-opening wounds kill about 32,000 Americans every year and add more than $9 billion to the nation's health care bill.
I haven't seen the study, just read the article.
HERE'S [usatoday.com] another article from USA Today.
I hate going into the Drs office. I dont feel better after leaving, my wallet is thinner, and whats worse than that is the pill/medications that cause more problems than what you went into the dr for in the first place.
I have come to the conclusion you are going to die from a Heart attack or cancer, so I say bring on the bacon.
The condition called dehiscence -- an accidental opening of a sutured incision -- also can extend a hospital stay by more than nine days and add about $40,000 to the bill.
Dehiscence is not something that is always attributable to a problem with the suturing, for example. A really overweight patient with a belly incision is more likely to dehisce ... so is someone who runs around, lifts heavy things and doesn't follow their post-op care teaching.
I'm not saying problems don't happen ... but I think we need to be careful when readings stats like this because this kind of article can be really, really misleading.