Intended for healthcare professionals


Medical errors kill almost 100000 Americans a year

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: (Published 11 December 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:1519
  1. Fred Charatan
  1. Florida

    An expert panel from the Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academy of Sciences, found that medical errors kill from 44000 to 98000 Americans each year.

    The chairman of the 19 member panel, William C Robinson, president of the W K Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, Michigan, a private, grant making body, said, “These stunningly high rates of medical errors—resulting in deaths, permanent disability, and unnecessary suffering—are simply unacceptable in a medical system that promises first to ‘do no harm.’”

    The panel's report, which was released in November, recommended that a new federal centre for patient safety should be set up in the Public Health Service and should have a budget of about $100m (£63m) a year, which is equivalent to …

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