August 31st, 2011
04:29 PM ET

Why U.S. hospitals aren't nearly as safe as you think

Some staggering stats:

  • The U.S. ranks last out of 19 developed countries in preventable deaths in hospitals.
  • You are 33,000 times more likely to die from a hospital error than a plane crash.
  • 1 in 5 patients in the U.S. suffer harm from medical errors.
  • 7,000 people are killed each year by medication errors - giving the wrong pill or too much of the right pill.
  • 1.7 million infections are contracted in the hospital each year.

Check out the full list of frightening stats in this powerful infographic:

The Hazards of Hospitals
Created by: Medical Billing and Coding. Hat tip to Chris Bodenner.

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Topics: Health • United States

soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. 100% STRONGER!

    Hard to believe.

    August 31, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Reply
  2. lynx Owe

    Doesn't this and other damnig data beg the question:Who Cares?

    We are building hospitals in Iraq and Afghanistan and so many people spout that we have the BEST HEALTHCARE IN THE WORLD.
    WE BUILD ROADS AROUND THE WORLD BUT OURS ARE FALLING APART. WE BUILD SCHOOLS AROUND THE WORLD WHILE OURS FALL APART. WE PROTECT COUNTRIES THAT COMPETE WITH US FOR MARKET SHARE.
    SO WHO CARES, IT IS ONLY US OURSELVES THAT SUFFER.

    August 31, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Reply
    • David

      Thanks for the link we have a coworker who found out to day her tbroher that she thought was fine and dandy and had moved last week just was rescued from the top of his roof.

      March 13, 2012 at 11:59 pm | Reply
  3. Jim Rousch

    Hooray for us.

    August 31, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Reply
  4. Martha AR

    We also provide a wider range of services for a much larger population. We needed a public option and still do.

    August 31, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Reply
  5. Michael K Miller

    It is both sad and frustrating to see the wheel "re-discovered" yet again. These kinds of facts about not only hospitals, but the American "curative" health care system, have been known, published and debated for decades. I actually wrote my Ph.

    D dissertation on this subject in 1975. But, much like motherhood and apple pie, American health care is "good". Not only is it good, it is "the best". Well, that has, and will continue to be true unless the public and policy makers pay attention to empirical results that go against conventional wisdom and rhetoric.

    September 1, 2011 at 12:37 am | Reply
    • Brad

      The problem is that if a lie is repeated enough times then it becomes "The truth" ie the US is the greatest country in the world...

      September 1, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Reply
  6. ROy E Pearson

    "1.7 million infections are contracted in the hospital each year."

    This is largely due to the fact that Hospital Emergency Rooms are used as last resort Health Care Providers. By the time people come to the Emergency Room they are very sick. This causes the cost of care to go up because the Hospitals have to care for them despite the fact that they can not pay and the danger to other patients is greater as we ask the sickest people, basically illness incubators, to come to the place where people with money come when they are not seriously ill but need a surgical procedure. While at the Hospital they contract a serious illness and die.

    The only way for all of us to be healthy is for all of us to have preventative care so germs and viruses do not have the chance to grow and mutate to resistant strains or new virulent versions.

    The Right Wing idea that the Wealthy are somehow insulated form the poor and unhealthy is just ignorant.

    Like it is not we are all in this together and short of forced detention or ghettoizing the poor, which does not bode well for Democracy, we are only as strong as our weakest link.

    September 1, 2011 at 12:39 am | Reply
  7. Tony

    As someone who has lost a loved one to hospital a acquired infection I would advise everyone not to cross the threshold of a hospital unless you don't have a choice. To an american doctor the hypocratic oath means nothing, the only thing that becoming a doctor means is money. If they kill someone their only concern is that they don't get sued.

    February 21, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Reply
  8. Sunshine

    Experienced septic shock, multiple organ failure, MRSA, objects left inside, E Coli abscesses (years after), tested present for band 23 (Lyme?) abnormal brain scan, digestive disorders, muscles dissolved in back, high WBC counts, infections, lost job, on disability and so much more. I can't get a specialist in NC to treat me in NC. Did not sue anyone but could not get any help after getting out of hospital. Tried going out of state, could get a little help until they saw my medical records. Got copies of medical records to see if something was on them preventing me from getting help. Where can I go? Experience pain and fatigue daily. I feel like if I could get help I could eventually return to work, have worked for 38 years and had a six figure income. Always did well on the job until becoming sick. I don't understand why I get put down and why doctors have come right out and said "the doctor refuses to treat you". Is there somewhere I can go before my current insurance is gone and I'm on Medicare? I still would like to be able to function. Any help would be appreciated. The hospital was not the worst part, it's being unable to get care, I can only get symptom treatment, but not cause.

    August 22, 2014 at 2:17 pm | Reply

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