Most reports list Heart Disease and Cancer as the leading causes of death in the United States. Heart disease claims approximate 700,000 deaths per year and Cancer claims approximately 550,000 deaths. What is usually omitted entirely from the list is medical treatment deaths. If the number were to be included in the list it rates at the top of the list. Medical treatment deaths come in at an estimated 800,000 per year.
Generally speaking medical treatment errors go unreported and are even hidden. In a lot of cases they are covered up and not corrected mostly because of costly lawsuits and malpractice costs. The environment is unforgiving and as a result has evolved into a methodology of denial.
The medical environment needs significant change in order to decrease both the practice of hiding these figures and improving the death and treatment error problems. Significant problems with medical treatment practices include doctors needing more time with patients and reduced hours for both doctors and nurses. There needs to be a system that is more open to reviewing errors and mistakes without the fallout that currently exists so that improvement can be imposed. More nurses need hired in both private and hospital/clinical environments. Specialized staff needs to be in the proper areas such as trauma and intensive care doctors need to be in those areas at all times.
Hospitals need better systems to track and avoid errors. They also need to be able to report and correct errors when they occur. There needs to better training systems in place in hospitals and reporting methodology that is more voluntary and less punitive when it is reported. Follow up with patients after discharge proves to be very beneficial and can reduce complications after discharge.
Health care also needs significant change. Significant things that are affecting the health in the U.S. that are not yet being addressed in healthcare include:
- · Stress and how it affects the immune system and life processes.
- · Insufficient exercise
- · Excessive calories
- · Processed and unnatural foods
- · Environmental toxins
When you look at the combination of the lifestyles of the U.S. being a factor in poor health and then add the medical treatment factoring in as the number one cause of death; it is a bleak prognosis for American health.