Published on:

Number of Preventable Hospital Deaths Remains a Mystery, Says Leading Medical Journal

image04-300x201[Photo Caption: Up to 15,000 elderly people may be losing their lives each month due to preventable hospital errors.]
A recent article in the noted medical policy journal Health Affairs claims that the number of people who die as a result of hospital-acquired conditions is still unclear. While some government agencies say 90,000 people die a year, the number may very well be vastly higher.

“The extent of patient harm in primary care….remains almost a mystery,” said the article. “If patients’ lives count, it’s long past time to count, and counter, every type of preventable harm.”

Hospital deaths are a particularly cruel blow for those who bring elderly loved ones in for treatment. According to recent figures from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), up 15,000 Medicare recipients may be losing their lives every month due to preventable errors.

Common types of hospital errors include:

  • Medication Errors (Wrong medication, wrong dosage, failing to account for other medications that patient is taking
  • Falls (Up to 10% of elderly hospital patients fall, sometimes related to medication errors or inattentive hospital staff)
  • Central Line Infections
  • Surgical Errors, including surgery performed on the wrong site or side of the body

According to Health Affairs, HHS is looking to reduce hospital deaths by 40 percent by the end of 2013, and plans on spending half a billion dollars on “safety improvement” contractors. So far, about 4,000 of the nation’s 5,000 acute-care hospitals have signed onto the HHS’s plan.
Related Nursing Homes Abuse Blog Entries:

Hepatitis Blamed for the Death of Four Residents at Assisted Living Facility

Medical Errors, Such as Pressure Ulcers, Costing U.S. $20 Billion Per Year

Medical Facilities Can Reduce the Incidence of Infection by Taking Some Basic Precautionary Steps

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Information on Hospital-Acquired Infections

Client Reviews

  • Having worked in the medical field, I appreciated the way that Mr. Rosenfeld and his staff approached my family’s situation. The combination of medical knowledge and legal expertise was indeed the winning combination for our case.
  • While nothing can change the way our mother was treated at a nursing facility, I do feel a sense of vindication that the facility was forced to pay for their treatment. I am certain that they would never have done had my attorneys not held their feet to the fire.
  • I was very nervous about initiating a claim against my mother’s nursing facility, but Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers took care of everything from getting the medical records to going to court. I felt like I had real advocates on my side. That meant a lot to me.
  • After a horrific episode at a nursing home, my sister and I spoke to a number of law firms. No one took the time to answer our questions and explain the legal process like Mr. Rosenfeld. He did a tremendous job on our case and I can see why he’s earned the praise he has from clients and peers.
  • I liked the fact that I could call the office and ask questions about the legal process at anytime. I could tell that my case was in good hands. I think that this was reflected in my father’s settlement was more than I anticipated the case ever being worth.