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Edward Nitkewicz
Edward Nitkewicz
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Hospitals and "the Fear of Flying"


Aerophobia is the fear of flying and ultimately, of dying in an airplane crash. Last month, the World Health Organization announced that "going into hospital is far risker than flying."

Millions of people die each year from medical errors and infections linked to health care, and going into hospital is far riskier than flying, the World Health Organization said on Thursday.

"If you were admitted to hospital tomorrow in any country … your chances of being subjected to an error in your care would be something like one in 10. Your chances of dying due to an error in health care would be 1 in 300," Liam Donaldson, the WHO’s newly appointed envoy for patient safety, told a news briefing.

This compared with a risk of dying in an air crash of about one in 10 million passengers, said Donaldson, formerly England’s chief medical officer. "It shows that health care, generally worldwide, still has a long way to go."


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    Thanks Edward. You hit the nail on the head. I am putting your post up on my Facebook page.

    Your analogy to airline safety is well placed. According to public health experts there are 98,000 patient deaths in the United States each year due to avoidable (that’s right – “avoidable” – medical errors. Those deaths are not just a situation where a patient suffered a bad result. The 98,000 deaths were found in a evaluation of real medical records, done by real doctors, for the Harvard School of Public Health. They eliminated all “close cases”, the number is most certainly higher. Getting back to air travel safety, the 98,000 deaths corresponds to a fully loaded 737 crashing, without survivors, every week. Why doesn’t the public stand up and say “Enough!” Probably because consumer safety advocates, like you, are not speaking up. Everyone should check out http://www.98000reasons.org

    We can’t let this happen on our watch.

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    Thank you Wayne. I appreciate your kind words and your insight.