A widely publicized report saying that as many as 98,000 people die each year in the United States from medical errors is conservative, and the number is probably much larger than that. The estimate by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) is low because it looked only at deaths of patients at hospitals. The Institute is a private, nonprofit organization that provides health policy advice under a congressional charter to the National Academy of Sciences.
Janet M. Corrigan is the IOM's director of health care services. The Institute is a private, nonprofit organization that provides health policy advice under a congressional charter to the National Academy of Sciences. She told reporters at a Capitol Hill briefing May 8 that the study did not look at medical-error deaths at nursing homes, emergency rooms or in doctors' offices. The mortality estimates are low also because most of the information was based on medical record reviews. Medical errors are a problem that has been hidden from the public for far to long.
Even worse than the original article (click here) reported, and the original study was bad enough.
Here are some other numbers to ponder:
Number of physicians in the US = 700,000
Accidental deaths caused by physicians per year = 120,000
Accidental deaths per physician = 0.171
Number of gun owners in the US = 80,000,000
Number of accidental gun deaths per year (all age groups) = 1,500
Accidental deaths per gun owner = 0.0000188
Therefore, doctors are approximately 9,000 times more dangerous than gun owners.