South Carolina readers might be surprised to learn that hospital acquired infections cost the health care system in the U.S. $10 billion annually. Approximately one in every 20 patients who have been hospitalized contracts an infection, according to the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since these types of infections are largely preventable through the use of best practices checklists, high rates of infections might be considered medical malpractice.
South Carolina residents may be happy to hear that preventable deaths due to cardiovascular disease are declining, but the CDC still believes that there is a lot of room for improvement. Not every one of these deaths was related to medical malpractice, but there is still a lot that the medical community can do to reduce their number. While there was a 29 percent decline in the number of avoidable deaths due to heart and hypertensive diseases and stroke before the age of 75 between 2001 and 2010, more than 50 percent of these deaths occurred in people under the age of 65.
In a study with implications for doctors and patients in South Carolina, data collected on nearly 2 million hospital admissions conducted by the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg found that those who left a medical facility too soon more than doubled the risk of complications or death. Just over one percent of patients left before they were given permission to do so by their doctors; those patients were 2.5 times more likely to die within 90 days and were also readmitted at three times the standard rate in the 30 days after they left.