Based on compilations of data from sources including U.S. government health statistics and peer-reviewed journals in the medical field, in the 1990s the estimated annual deaths of hospital patients from iatrogenic (physician or health establishment related) causes were 783,936. Contributing to these numbers were such things as adverse drug reactions, 106,000, bedsores, 115,000; infection; 88,000; medical errors, 98,000 and unnecessary procedures, 37,136. For more details, see Table of Iatrogenic Deaths in the United States
By comparison, according to the American Heart Association, in 2006 cardiovascular diseases claimed 831, 272 lives. In the same year, cancer caused 559,888 deaths. Unless you assume iatrogenic deaths have gotten markedly less, this suggests the medical system in the United States is at least the second leading cause of death in this country.
Posts and comments to this blog will put a concrete face on these cold numbers. Your examples of illnesses and deaths you believe caused by hospital stays, as either inpatient or outpatient, are welcome.
The contents of this blog provide an opportunity for patients who have experienced the worst of hospitals in the U.S. and other parts of the world. It is not a place to brag about great hospitals—there are plenty of Web sites to do that—especially the pages of specific hospitals.
All comments that meet the stated purpose in the first paragraph are welcome. Comments will be moderated but only to remove spam and clearly libelous statements. Commenters can chose to remain anonymous. However, if you refer to a specific hospital, then this information will be included, so do not include the name of the hospital if you do not want it identified. The author of this blog disclaims all responsibility and liability for the accuracy or veracity of any comment.