As shocking as it is remarkable…
We just received a copy of an interview conducted by the Editor (Dr. Eric Topol) of the very popular medical website, Medscape, with internationally renowned author and physician Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD. (recorded 10.12.15).
Here is an excerpt from that interview:
Dr. Eric Topol: We are facing some very important issues today that suggest how bad things are still in 2015. One is that we (physicians) make 12 million serious diagnostic medical errors a year, and that is unchanged, as best we know, since To Err is Human was published in 1999. It seems that without any changes, this will continue, and it has become inhumane to have all of these errors. To the top 20 drugs that are prescribed, by sales, at least, 80% of people are nonresponders. We give these drugs. We have hope, but the fact is that the plurality of patients don’t respond.
Then we have the issues of false-positive results in screening (mammography, PSA levels) at rates that are greater than 60%. Yet these tests are done widely in millions of people every year.
To Err is Human was a report issued by the U.S. Institute of Medicine that looked at the alarming rates of medical errors and medical malpractice in America. While not the first such report on medical harm in the U.S., many felt the report would surely serve as a clarion call – a wake-up call for modern medicine.
Where are we 16 years later?
“…we (physicians) make 12 million serious diagnostic medical errors a year…” and knowingly prescribe powerful and often toxic drugs that are ineffective 80% of the time.
Think about it. Twelve million serious diagnostic medical errors a year, together with the terrible harm done through surgical errors, adverse drug effects, and defective medical products. Modern medicine is the 3rd leading cause of death in America behind heart disease and cancer.
Does it have to be this way?
Of course not. But to change it will require a much greater commitment from the medical community – including the pharmaceutical industry.
Can patients do things to protect themselves?
Yes. Here are a few steps to consider:
- Spend time researching your medical options – from whom you choose as your primary care doctor to what hospital you choose for surgery. As with anything – some options are far better and safer than others.
- If you learn you have a problem – understand your treatment options and consider seeking a second opinion.
- Use great care when taking prescription medications. There are known risks with virtually all prescription and over-the-counter conventional drugs. When mixed together – a practice called poly-pharmacy – the risks are often intensified.
If you or a loved one is ever the victim of a surgical error, a defective drug, the improper prescription of a drug therapy, over-exposure to medical radiation, a hospital acquired infection, a fall while in the hospital, a preventable blood clot, a misdiagnosis, or any form of medical malpractice, call a qualified Connecticut medical malpractice lawyer. A knowledgeable malpractice attorney can help to ensure that your rights are protected.
RisCassi & Davis has handled hundreds of medical malpractice cases over our 60 years serving the people of Connecticut.
We have a great team of legal experts dedicated to medical malpractice in Connecticut. Please contact us if we can help you. The consultation is free and there is no obligation of any kind.