[MOL] Medical Mistakes- [00852] Medicine On Line

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[MOL] Medical Mistakes-

Thousands Die From Medical Mistakes

      A report released Monday by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) says more people die due to medical errors every year in the United States than from vehicle accidents, breast cancer or AIDS.
      The startling conclusion shows at least 44,000 and possibly as many as 98,000 Americans die every year in hospitals because of medical mistakes, such as bad penmanship. Last October, a Texas jury awarded the family of a man $450,000 after it concluded that a doctor''s illegible handwriting caused a prescription-drug mix-up that led to the man''s death.
      The IOM report says these medical errors occur in every aspect of health care -- in nursing homes, retail pharmacies and even on the operating table. "These stunningly high rates of medical errors," wrote William Richardson, chairman of the IOM committee that wrote the report, "resulting in deaths, permanent disability and unnecessary suffering, are simply unacceptable in a medical system that promises first ''to do no harm.'' "
      Based on its report, the IOM committee is calling on Congress to create a patient-safety division within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Such a division, the report''s authors say, would oversee national patient-safety standards, track safety records and work to prevent medical errors. The IOM is also calling on the federal government to require hospitals and medical centers to report all serious medical errors.

Warmly, lillian
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