Inspiration, emotion, altitude, and a crushed egg
Attending the Academy for Emerging Leaders in Patient Safety is important to me for academic and personal reasons. Let’s start with the academic. It is hard to find a precise number of how many patients are hurt or killed every year due to medical errors but estimates of deaths range from 22,000 to 250,000 in the United States. Put another way, as a future oncologist I interpret this as medical errors killing anywhere from leukemia to nearly all cancers combined.
The problem with numbers, though, is that focusing on these neat arithmetic devices obscures the human tolls. At a minimum, 22,000 husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, cool aunts, goofy uncles, and favorite grandparents were lost unnecessarily. At least 22,000 families shed tears, attended funerals, and experienced gaps in their lives that did not need to be. Thousands of shocked family members, I’m sure, thought their loved ones were recovering only to… Continue reading