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First, Do No Harm

medical injuries last year

     
10:52 pm on Oct 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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[upi.com...]
3:33 am on Oct 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Not bad.

Here in Denmark we have about 5K "unexpected errors" at public hospitals, we have a population of appr. 5 mil.

3:59 am on Oct 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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For some people, it puts the lobster [google.com] on the table.
1:08 pm on Oct 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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For a little perspective, 500 deaths per day from diabetes (according to the American Diabetes Association).
2:13 pm on Oct 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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For a little perspective, 500 deaths per day from diabetes

Surely there are many causes of death including old age, disease, crime, suicide, and accidents. However, I don't see the connection of these events to the article.

3:00 pm on Oct 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Sorry for being a little terse.

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?

3:47 pm on Oct 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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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.

lawman

HERE'S [usatoday.com] another article from USA Today.

5:07 pm on Oct 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Dr.s kill more people than firearms.

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.

5:51 pm on Oct 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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But not all of the things that are quoted in this article are "medical mistakes."

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.

6:07 pm on Oct 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Miles,
It's not dying that people should be afraid of. It's living! (blind, toe-less and, on dialysis 3x/week).

Bob ;-)

6:32 pm on Oct 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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rharri I was poking fun at doctors and the fact that everyone of us is going to die from something. I think you smell what I am stepping in.