This excerpt is taken from an editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association, "Error in Medicine."1 It describes the potential dangers inherent in hospital stays.
"Also in 1991, the Harvard Medical Practice Study2 reported the results of a population-based study of iatrogenic injury in patients hospitalized in New York State in 1984.2,3 Nearly 4% of patients suffered an injury that prolonged their hospital stay or resulted in measurable disability.For New York State, this equalled 98,609 patients in 1984. Nearly l4% of these injuries were fatal. If these rates are typical of the United States, then 180,000 people die each year partly as a result of iatrogenic injury, the equivalent of three jumbo-jet crashes every 2 days."
- Leape LL. Error in medicine. JAMA 1994;272:1851-1857.
- Brennan TA, Leupe LL, Laird N, et al. Incidence of adverse events and negligence in hospitalized patients; results of the Harvard Medical Practice Study I. New England Journal of Medicine 1991;324:370-376.
- Leape LL, Brennan TA, Laird N, et al. The nature of adverse events in hospitalized patients; results of the Harvard Medical Practice Study II. New England Journal of Medicine 1991; 324:377-384.