11 April 2006

Death By Medicine

Death By Medicine: "Each year approximately 2.2 million US hospital patients experience adverse drug reactions (ADRs) to prescribed medications.(1) In 1995, Dr. Richard Besser of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated the number of unnecessary antibiotics prescribed annually for viral infections to be 20 million; in 2003, Dr. Besser spoke in terms of tens of millions of unnecessary antibiotics prescribed annually.(2, 2a) Approximately 7.5 million unnecessary medical and surgical procedures are performed annually in the US,(3) while approximately 8.9 million Americans are hospitalized unnecessarily.(4)
As shown in the following table, the estimated total number of iatrogenic deaths—that is, deaths induced inadvertently by a physician or surgeon or by medical treatment or diagnostic procedures— in the US annually is 783,936. It is evident that the American medical system is itself the leading cause of death and injury in the US . By comparison, approximately 699,697 Americans died of heart in 2001, while 553,251 died of cancer.(5)
Table 1: Estimated Annual Mortality and Economic Cost of Medical Intervention
Adverse Drug Reactions 106,000$12 billionLazarou(1), Suh (49)
Medical error 98,000$2 billionIOM(6)
Bedsores 115,000$55 billionXakellis(7), Barczak (8)
Infection 88,000$5 billionWeinstein(9), MMWR (10)
Malnutrition 108,800-----------Nurses Coalition(11)
Outpatients 199,000$77 billionStarfield(12), Weingart(112)
Unnecessary Procedures 37,136$122 billionHCUP(3,13)
Surgery-Related 32,000$9 billionAHRQ(85)
Total783,936$282 billion "

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