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Study: Hospital Mistakes Number in the Millions

Almost three percent of patients who are treated in hospitals fall victim to some sort of hospital error, according to a new report.

The study found that almost a quarter-million people died from such mistakes.

The report, released by the independent health care rating company, HealthGrades, also suggests that those who do suffer a hospital mistake have a one in four chance of dying from it.

The Study

The study looked at records from more than 40 million Medicare hospitalizations from 2003 to 2005.

It found that there were 1.16 million preventable “patient safety incidents” over the course of those three years. This figure represents 2.86 percent of all patients who went to the hospital.

This study is the most recent in a growing body of literature finding that hospitals make too many avoidable and sometimes deadly mistakes.

“Despite the flurry of research, publications and process improvement activity that has occurred since the [Institute of Medicine] report, there is a growing consensus that not much progress has been made, leading to a visible national impact,” the study authors wrote.


The study found that 247,662 people died from the hospital errors.

The losses are not only measured in lives. The monetary costs of these mistakes was $8.6 billion, and some of the most common mistakes were the ones that were the most costly.

The number of patients in the sample that suffered mistakes “absolutely can be extrapolated” to the general U.S. hospital population, said HealthGrade spokesperson and study co-author, Kristin Reed.

“These are patient safety events, so these are events that should not happen, ever.”

Victim of a hospital error? You may be able to recover compensation for the cost of your treatment and the other losses you sustained. Please contact us today for a complimentary consultation with an experienced medical malpractice attorney who can help you plan the best recourse.

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