Study: One In 20 Patients Victim of Preventable Medical Error

Doctors are only human, so medical errors happen. U.K. researchers found about five percent of patients (one in 20) is a victim of preventable medical errors, and 12 percent of such cases result in permanent disability or death.

The most preventable harm is caused by medication and other treatments (49%) and by invasive procedures. These errors were more common in surgical and intensive care units than in general hospitals and were the lowest in obstetric units.

It’s estimated that preventable harm results in about $9.3 billion extra in health care costs in the United States.