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Monday 8 July 2013

Medical Mistakes? Or Dangerous Medicine?

  • It has been estimated that between 5-10% of patients admitted to hospital are infected with hospital-acquired diseases, such as MRSA (360 deaths in 2005 in England alone) and Clostridium Difficile (1,300 death in 2004). The problem, according to the NHS is that health professionals needed to do more to address hygiene to improve patient safety - thereby ignoring the troublesome fact that whilst these infections can be spread by bad hygiene their actual cause is the overuse of antibiotics – Conventional medicine’s most miraculous miracle drug!
  • It is the same throughout the world. On 25th October 2006 the BBC reported that in Italy it has been estimated that as many as 90 people die in hospital every day “due to medical malpractice and organisational errors”. Note again that the deaths are not caused by ‘medicine’ – but by malpractice, and error. The calculation of 33,000 annual deaths is more than the number of people killed on the roads in Italy, which means that there are an awful lot of ‘errors’ and ‘malpractice’ going on!
  • Celia Hall, Medical Editor, Daily Telegraph. "One NHS patient in 10 'is harmed in hospital'". 6 July 2006. This article said that nearly a million patient safety incidents or 'near misses' in a single year were recorded in NHS trusts, drawing attention to the effectiveness of the Patient Safety Agency. It estimated that in 2004-05 there were 974,000 patient safety incidents in England and Wales and MPs believe that 22% of mistakes go unreported.
  • In the same Daily Telegraph article the charity, Peter Walsh, the chief executive of 'Action against Medical Accidents' (AvMA) called for stronger sanctions. "We hope the report will give an injection of urgency into work to improve patient safety. Whilst there has been welcome progress we want to see more teeth given to existing guidelines and safety alerts. It should be compulsory for NHS providers to implement them".
  • Sarah Bosely, in the Guardian, 11th August 2006 stated that there were 40,000 NHS drug errors logged in a year, the figures having been collated by the National Patient Safety Agency. The article said that the statistics inevitably underestimated the problem 'since not all errors are reported'.
  • Jerome Burne. Daily Mail 12 September 2006. "In the UK, 10,000 people are killed every year by adverse drug reactions which happens when the prescription drug supposed to be curing you kills or harms you instead. That is more than the number who die from cervical cancer, taking illegal drugs, cancer of the mouth and passive smoking combined. It's actually more dangerous to visit your doctor than it is to drive your car - in 2004, traffic accidents were responsible for some 3,221 deaths. Yet a further 40,000 people each year are made sick enough by drugs they are taking to be admitted to hospital".
  • WDDTY e-news. Doctor Error: It’s rife, especially among the newborns. 07 February 2008. "It's an urban myth - and one that happens to be true - that the death rate plummets when doctors go on strike. Patients in hospital are especially vulnerable to the doctor's ministrations, and it's even worse for the newborn baby who hasn't yet made it home. A new study into newborns that needed 'hospital' care - usually because of low birth rate or premature birth - has revealed the extent of doctor error or doctor-induced (iatrogenic) problems. Researchers monitored the progress of 388 babies who had been admitted to a neo-natal unit in Southern France from January to September 2005; in that time, researchers witness 267 doctore errors, and nearly 30% of these were serious. Two babies died as a direct result of the errors". (Source: The Lancet, 2008; 371: 404-10).
  • WDDTY reported on research (published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, 2006; 166: 1410-6) that studied the progress of 7,054 patients admitted to a veterans' hospital between 2003 and 2004. Of these, 792 patients suffered a heart attack while in the hospital ( about 11%) and that they were twice as likely to die from the attack. As the article says, this means that up to 2,690,000 people could be harmed by medical ‘mishaps’ every year. This represents around 4.5% of the entire population. It goes on to say that in the USA, where twice as much is spent on ConMed drugs, the problem could be affecting up to 13,450,000 people every year. Government officials were said to be 'shocked' to hear that nobody knows how many of the reported 'blunders' ended in death. Apparently, only 1 in 4 hospitals 'own up' to the patient when something goes wrong; the rest presumably blame the patient illness on admission. Just 1 in 25 drug reactions is ever reported. Edward Leigh, chairman of the Commons Public Accounts committee said that 1 in 10 people admitted to a hospital in Britain every year will suffer a mishap or accident that will harm him, and that this is based on known, reported accidents. Apparently, the committee members discovered that the situation is not getting better, that doctors and hospital staff are not learning from mistakes, but repeating them every year, that guidelines are being consistently ignored, and safety recommendations are not being implemented.