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Thousands of people die from medical errors

Thousands of people in the United States die each year because of medical errors made in hospitals, including in Kentucky. Just how many people die under such circumstances, however, is hard to determine. The issue has been debated for more than a decade, with estimates ranging from 98,000 to 440,000 people. No one really knows the exact number.

The issue was brought to the forefront in 1999 when the Institute of Medicine released a report asserting that as many as 98,000 die each year. The medical community initially disputed the findings but eventually accepted them as fact. In 2010, the Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services estimated that about 180,000 people in Medicare alone died from preventable medical mistakes. In 2013, the Journal of Patient Safety published a report estimating that between 210,000 and 440,000 patients die each year from medical errors.

There is no actual count of just how many people die from bad medical care each year. It is a national dilemma, and those living in Kentucky are not immune to the problem. In 2004, one organization released a report that estimated that between 632 and 1,407 preventable deaths occur in Kentucky each year because of medical mistakes.

People who have lost loved ones to what they believe was hospital error have legal options in Kentucky. Those individuals may wish to consult an attorney to find out what legal actions can be taken in their cases.

Source: ProPublica, "How Many Die From Medical Mistakes in U.S. Hospitals?," Marshall Allen, Sept. 19, 2013

Source: Public Citizen, "The Facts About Medical Malpractice in Kentucky," Accessed Feb. 17, 2015

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