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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

To err is medical

Inner Sanctum   (Photo by Norbert Kaiser)
To err is human, but some humans have been “worshipped” as idols over time.  These all-too-human idols include athletes, entertainers and, yes, doctors.

If this seems overly harsh, consider some recent findings from researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.  The Washington Post reports that “’medical errors’ in hospitals and other health-care facilities are incredibly common and may now be the third-leading cause of death in the United States…”

To put this in perspective, medical error is right up there with cancer and heart disease in terms of fatalities.  It allegedly claims more lives per year than either respiratory illnesses, strokes, accidents, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, flu/pneumonia, or kidney disease (all of which are also within the top ten causes of death).  Statistically, medical errors are estimated to result in “nearly 700 deaths a day,” almost one-tenth of overall U. S. deaths.

Viewing medical personnel as fellow human beings can go a long way toward reducing this frightening percentage.  Asking questions and actively partnering in the healing process can help to bridge power gaps between patients and medical “idols.”


Copyright May 17, 2016 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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