Monday, January 12, 2009

US vs. World (Healthcare)

I have a copy of a JAMA article entitled "Is Us Health Really The Best In The World?", which was placed at JAMA, Volume 284, No. 4, July 16, 2000.

The article points out that deaths due to "iatrogenic causes" during hospital care results in 225,000 deaths per year in the United States. That article is from the year 2000, you can read Medical Detective for more recent figures.

The "outpatient care" which follows that hospitalization results in an additional 199,000 deaths due to those "iatrogenic causes".

The not so grand total is 424,000 deaths per year that were due to negligence, accidents, or incompetence.

An "iatrogenic cause" is defined as:
i·at·ro·gen·ic: Induced in a patient by a physician's activity, manner, or therapy. Used especially of an infection or other complication of treatment.
(Dictionary). What this boils down to is that, in the health care system discussed, the treatment is sometimes worse than the disease.


  1. A woman goes into a hospital to have some kidney stones removed and looses both arms and legs.

    It actually happened!

    Is that enough in itself? But when she sued the jury found the hospital not liable ... not negligent:

    It too actually happened!

  2. When you hear the surgeon say "has anyone seen my ..." worry is not paranoia:

    Anyone Seen My Cell Phone