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Reports of preventable hospital deaths are highly exaggerated

On Behalf of | Jun 16, 2022 | Medical Malpractice |

Preventable hospital deaths have always been seen as a topic of acute concern in Illinois. This is a trend that has raised alarm throughout the U.S in the past few years. However, a study that was recently released by the Journal of General Medicine alleges that the number of preventable deaths has been exaggerated.

Preventable deaths have been greatly reduced

The total number of preventable deaths that can be reliably attributed to surgical errors and other causes has been greatly enlarged upon in the past. Some estimates have put the annual number of preventable deaths as anywhere from 44,000 to 98,000. Some have even gone so far as to put the total number of deaths in this area as high as 250,000 per year.

As the number of preventable deaths has decreased, the need for an adjustment of these previously wild and speculative figures likewise increases. The report published by the Journal of General Medicine has put the correct figure at just over 22,000. While still high, the total is not quite as conducive to panic.

Clearing up the misconceptions that lead to inflated numbers

It is true that claims for deaths due to medical malpractice, negligence, and other issues do continue to be filed in Illinois. However, all too many studies have tended to focus on patients being admitted to hospitals after an incorrect diagnosis. Other patients may have experienced adverse effects after a delay in therapy.

This is why the recent study from the Journal has experts hailing it as a very welcome development. For example, the number of previously healthy people who have been reliably recorded as dying a preventable death has rolled back to 7,100. The remainder of preventable deaths occurred in people that had less than three months to live.