Medical Error

Medical error statistics in the United States are enormous and alarming.

The American medical system is the number one killer in the U.S.

If you don't know how dangerous it is to take your prescription(s), to have surgery or to visit your doctor, the following information may be unbelievable to you.

Did you know that the total number of medical errors and deaths equals SIX jumbo jets crashing every day?

Yet, not many people know about this. Most of us know of someone who has been the victim of an "error", or even ourselves have been.

The numbers can be overwhelming and astonishing: The error rate of ICU's (Intensive Care Units) would be like the post office losing over 16,000 pieces of mail every hour of every day

Or like our banks wrongly cashing 32,000 checks every hour of every day, every year!

In one decade, the deaths caused by conventional medicine are approximately 8 million.

This is more than all the casualties from all the wars America has ever fought in.

And that's just one decade.

Medical Error Statistics Unraveled:

  • 7,000 patients die each year because of sloppy handwriting
  • 7.5 million unnecessary medical and surgical procedures are performed annually
  • more than half of the U.S. population has received unnecessary medical treatment. That equates to 50,000 people per day.
  • 42% of people have been directly affected by a medical mistake, procedure or drug
  • 84% of the population personally know someone who has been a victim of medical error

  • the use of prescription drugs is the 3rd leading cause of death in the U.S.
  • over 106,000 people die each year from adverse drug reactions
  • only 6% of ALL adverse drug reactions are properly identified.
  • Most side effects are mistaken for new disease symptoms, leading to further medication & unnecessary medical procedures.
  • the death rate for people aged 45-64 who took their prescriptions correctly, rose 90% in only five years
  • 400,000 preventable drug-related errors occur in hospitals each year; 800,000 occur in long-term care settings; 530,000 occur in outpatient Medicare clinics
  • preventable medication mistakes hurt 1.5 million patients yearly


  • the annual death toll from hospitalizations and outpatient care is more than 424,000 people per year
  • medical interns who have been awake for over 24 hours, double or triple the number of preventable medical errors

  • nearly 14% of doctor visits were missing test results and other documentation resulting in 44% of patients being adversly affected
  • over 59% of patients have received delayed care or duplicate services with doctor visits
  • 160,000 lab misidentification errors occur each year

Pharmaceutical Industry

  • prescription drug sales are rising well over 18% a year from previous years
  • the highest increase of drug consumption is in the age group of two to five year old children
  • as of 2001, Pfizer was the number one most profitable company
    (7.8 billion profit that year) of all the Fortune 500 companies
  • In 2002, the biggest drug companies spent only 14% of profits on research and development and 31% on marketing and advertising.
  • They routinely spend more on advertising than on research.
  • Also in 2002, the combined profits of the ten drug companies of the Fortune 500 were nearly $36 billion. That is more than the profits of the other 490 businesses put together.
  • In 2004, pharmaceutical industry sales were more than $250 billion.

Studies done since the 1970's have shown the high incidences of medical errors and deaths resulting from them.

Even the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) has published a report showing the alarming medical error statistics in the United States.

Only 3% of physicians believe that medical errors are a principal health concern. There is more concern with car accidents.

Many doctors say they would do more error reporting, but the medical error reporting systems are inadequate or non-existant.

Why is it ok that the side-effect of most drugs is "unintentional death"?

Why do we sit by?

Why do we feel helpless and over-powered?

We over-whelmingly trust doctors and the health-care system. But it is most likely going to harm us.

Be pro-active about your health. Be sure to double check and verify anything that is unclear or that you have a question about.

Medical error statistics are very real and are not diminishing.

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