Are You More Likely to Die in a Hospital from Med Mal or in an Airplane?

Side Note: Even if you guessed that you’d be more likely to die in a hospital from med mal, you might be surprised just how much more likely you’d be to die. According to WHO statistics, the chance of an error happening during a patient’s care is 1 in 10. The chance of a patient dying is 1 in 300. The chance of someone dying in a plane crash is 1 in 10 million.

Now, you might be saying to yourself that this study included developing countries and other countries outside the US, which it did. But just how bad or good is the US? Was it significantly better? Regarding infections in developed countries, in general, the chances of getting a health care-related infection are 7 in 100, while it is 10 out of 100 in developing countries. In the US, 1.7 million patients suffer from hospital acquired infections resulting in 100,000 deaths. This is a far higher rate than that of European countries.

It would be interesting to know if there is anything the health care industry and the med mal insurance industry can learn in terms of safety from the airline industry. Maybe that could be another study…

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Going into hospital far riskier than flying: WHO
By Stephanie Nebehay
Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2011

Hospital RoomMillions of people die each year from medical errors and infections linked to health care and going into hospital is far riskier than flying, the World Health Organization said on Thursday.

“If you were admitted to hospital tomorrow in any country… your chances of being subjected to an error in your care would be something like 1 in 10. Your chances of dying due to an error in health care would be 1 in 300,” Liam Donaldson, the WHO’s newly appointed envoy for patient safety, told a news briefing.

Here is where you can find the entire article.

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