Medical Injury Fact Sheet, Last Updated 2016
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There is extensive evidence and research that finds unconscious biases can lead to differential treatment of patients by race, gender, weight, age, language, income and insurance status. 4/16

New York City hospitals that mainly serve African-American expectant mothers have severe complication rates two-and-a-half times higher than those that mainly serve white mothers, even after you factor in patient complexities. 8/16

Johns Hopkins patient safety experts have calculated that more than 250,000 deaths per year are due to medical error in the U.S. 5/16  

- Between 210,000 and 440,000 patients each year who go to the hospital for care suffer some type of preventable harm that contributes to their death.  9/13

- About 1.7 million Americans acquire infections in health care settings each year, killing 99,000 patients and adding $45 billion to the nation’s annual medical expenses. 8/13  (Alliance for Aging Research) (Website no longer available.)

- Diagnostic Errors Are the Most Common Type of Medical Mistake.  Diagnostic errors are the most common source of malpractice  payments, the most costly and the most dangerous when it comes to patients’ health.4/13

- The Joint Commission estimates that wrong-site surgeries occur up to 40 times per week.  2/12

- Study found that harm to patients was common and that the number of incidents did not decrease over time. The most common problems were complications from procedures or drugs and hospital-acquired infections. 11/12
- About 500 to 600 surgical fires occur each year nationwide. About 25 to 30 suffer severe burns or “gross facial disfigurement,” and several have burned to death.  5/12

- Nearly 90% of U.S. adults are less than proficient in reading, understanding and acting on medical information. One in three patients has “basic” or “below basic” health literacy. 3/12 U.S. Dept. of Education

- Medication Errors Injure 1.5 Million People and Cost Billions of Dollars Annually.  7/06

- Portraits of a malpractice system riddled with frivolous lawsuits are overblown. The number of meritorious claims that did not get paid was actually larger than the group of meritless claims that were paid. 5/06

- Medical errors in family medicine are set in motion by errors in communication. 7/04   

- Avoidable medical errors added $19.5 billion to the nation's healthcare bill in 2008, according to a claims-based study conducted by Millman, Inc. on behalf of the Society of Actuaries (SOA)

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