Doctors Contribute to 40 Million Deaths Annually


That is the number of the patients, who die each year because of poor-quality medicine. Such sad statistics was published in the BMJ Quality & Safety journal by Harvard scientists from the Institute of Public Health.

The experts analyzed more than four thousand English-speaking thematic research papers from around the world. The earliest paper dated back to 1976, and the latest was written a few years ago. The scientists were interested in the statistics of hospital infections, the patients receiving incompatible drugs, the occurrence of blood clots and bedsores in patients, and so on. Those were the facts that witnessed to the inadequate treatment or poor care quality in various health institutions.

As it turned out, 40 million patients die each year worldwide because of the doctors’ negligence. Surprisingly, the patients’ mortality rate due to the fault of the medical staff was higher in high-income countries: on average, 14.2% of every 100 hospitalized people died. In poor countries, the number was 12.7% per 100 patients.

According to scientists, the most common causes of patients’ death were receiving unnecessary drugs and the occurrence of blood clots and bedsores. More than half of the cases of improper care have occurred in developing countries and the countries of the Third World.

The experts say this rate will grow over time, so now it is essential to make efforts not only to develop affordable medical care, but also to improve the quality of medical services.