Source: Courtesy of Chris Jerry, CNBC, "The third leading cause of death in the US that most doctors don't want you to know about"
Emily, only two years old, was diagnosed with an abdominal tumor and underwent several surgeries and rounds of chemotherapy until she was finally declared cancer-free. In her last round of chemotherapy and after this exciting news, a pharmacy technician mis-filled her intravenous bag with more than twenty times the appropriate amount of sodium chloride.
A few hours later, Emily was declared brain dead.
More than a quarter million of U.S. citizens die every year from medical errors. If this number is not astonishing enough for you, medical errors are the third-leading cause of death- only after heart disease and cancer.
This statistic is disheartening and shocking as the United States is considered a innovative and advanced country in the healthcare field. However, the number of the deaths from medical errors seem to tell a different story.
A recent study by Johns Hopkins confirms that Emily’s care is not rare stating that more than 250,000 deaths every year are claimed by medical errors. Other cases even cite this number is too low, stating that the more accurate number could be double the Johns Hopkins figure. This higher figure is supported due to the lack of citation of human and system failures as the cause of death by physicians, funeral directors, coroners, and medical examiners.
Not only is this huge number preventable but nothing seems to be done to improve and reduce this number.
Chris Jerry, father of Emily Jerry, stated, “Medical-care workers are dedicated, caring people but they’re human. And human beings make mistakes.” However, these mistakes have compiled a massive death toll and preventative measures must start being explored.
To make sure that this does not happen to anyone else, Chris Jerry founded the Emily Jerry Foundation that focuses on medication safety, better training for pharmacy technicians, and backup procedures that could improve the current health-care system.
This is only one example of the necessary reforms and activist movements that must occur through our healthcare system.
The movement of technology has taken medical errors into consideration and are being used to improve patient safety. Not only are many sources of knowledge available to the general public about healthcare, but conveniently- many apps can be accessed to better inform you as a patient. In addition, electronic records, fail-safes, and recorded conversations between healthcare professionals are all working to reduce this enormous number of deaths from medical errors.
Specifically, ResultCare, works to reduce the number of medical errors by empowering physicians with evidence-based information. Our platform greatly increases the efficiency at which physicians, who otherwise may be overwhelmed, perform their jobs.
Even so, there are ways that you as a patient, can double check your safety as well.
Ask your doctor questions.
Seek a second opinion.
Bring along an advocate.
Becoming more informed and aware of your own health status and basic procedures could not only save your life but could also save someone else's life.
Source: Sipherd, Ray. "The third leading cause of death in the US that most doctors don't want you to know about"