Ten years ago the Institute of Medicine (IOM) estimated that 98,000 people die each year needlessly because of preventable medical mistakes including hospital infections. Estimates are that preventable medical mistakes still account for more than 100,000 deaths each year. In other words 1,000,000 lives have been lost over the past decade, not to mention those hurt or maimed by mistakes.
There is going to be a forum later this month by Consumer's Union Safe Patient Project called To Err Is Human, To Delay Is Deadly to review this situation and search for improvements. It will be webcast so anyone who is interested may listen and watch the proceedings on November 17, 2009 from 10am-3:30pm EST.
Can you imagine if any one of the 300+ therapies listed in my book killed 100,000 people every year? The media would be all over us but the medical systems' status quo doesn't even rate a paragraph in the back of the paper today.