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Alarming healthcare facts

Wisconsin residents who seek medical attention could end worse off than they started. Individuals may be concerned to hear about how rampant waste is in the medical industry, how many people die as a result of medical malpractice and how frequently those mistakes are made. One of the reasons for the incredible cost of seeing a doctor or undergoing a medical procedure may be due to how much money is misused. According to a 2011 Institute of Medicine study, $765 billion is wasted on things like unnecessary treatments and fraud.

In spite of all the money being spent on healthcare, research published in the Journal of Patient Safety states that between 200,000 and 400,000 patients die a year as a result of preventable harm suffered at a hospital. This means that medical errors are the third most common cause of death behind cancer and heart disease.

The high rate of patient death is likely due to just how often mistakes are made when providing medical care for individuals. Based on information from another Institute of Medicine study, this one from 2012, a third of hospital patients will suffer from preventable harm during their stay, leading to everything from minor injury to death. Additionally, critical care patients are believed to experience an average of nearly two mistakes per day.

Medical errors can bring enormous amounts of damage, causing patients to stay longer in hospitals, require further treatment or even die. If someone or their family member has been harmed during their stay in a hospital, a lawyer could explain their legal rights and options for recourse.

Source: Forbes, "Six Frightening Facts You Need To Know About Healthcare", Robert J. Szczerba, October 22, 2013

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