Medicine Information

195,000 Die Annually From Hospital Mistakes

It just seemed too absurd to be true, but there it was in the August 2, 2004 edition of Newsweek I picked up the other day: "According to HealthGrades, the health-care-rating organization that conducted the study, needless deaths averaged 195,000 a year in 2000, 2001, and 2002. 'That's the equivalent of 390 jumbo jets full of people dying each year,' says Dr. Samantha Collier, vice president of medical affairs."

My mind struggled feebly to conjure up 390 jumbo jets going up in flames - it imploded hopelessly on crash number 8.

I started to wonder what it all meant. How could so many "needless" deaths be happening when we're so advanced technologically? Why is this carnage allowed to continue unabated and who the hell's responsible, anyway?

I came to the conclusion that there weren't any good answers for any of it. The people who work in hospitals are fallible, just like you and me. The difference is, when you or I make a mistake, someone's life isn't hanging in the balance.

Still - 390 jumbo jets full of innocent people - what a tragedy. Most people checking into the hospital expect to be checking out in a few days - not checking out permanently. And the statistics just keep getting worse.

So what can a person do? Most people feel pretty powerless when it comes to protecting their health. If they get sick, they rely on existing healthcare and submit themselves to conventional medical treatment. But that's not health care. That's sickness care.

Real health care is about building health from the ground up. Sickness care is about cutting, radiating, poisoning and taking toxic prescription drugs.

So, the way I see it, there are two main options. Be good little medical consumers and go along with the healthcare program that we've all been taught to buy in to - or start thinking outside the healthcare box.

Personally, my advice is to be pro-active. For many, that's a scary option but it doesn't have to be. There are some great, emerging nutritional technologies that are proving very effective in warding off a wide variety of physical ailments.

For instance, for the past two years, I've been researching a new form of supplement called glyconutrition. This technology is a spin off of recent Nobel Prize winning scientific breakthroughs in the field of glycobiology.

Glycobiology is a relatively new field of science that is exploring the biochemistry of carbohydrates or sugars. In a related book, "Sugars That Heal", Emil Mondoa, MD explains that "?even tiny amounts of these sugars - or lack of them - have profound effects. In test after test in leading institutes around the world, these saccharides (glyconutrients) have been shown to lower cholesterol, increase lean muscle mass, decrease body fat, increase wound healing, ease allergy symptoms and allay autoimmune diseases such as arthritis, psoriasis and diabetes."

People who regularly take glyconutritional supplements are finding, for instance, that they experience far fewer colds and flues. Others have reported recovering from conditions such as asthma, fibromyalgia, cancer, autism, and depression.

A lot of people hearing this for the first time are very skeptical. If you're in that group but are nevertheless interested in taking a look at evidence that supports these claims, you're one step ahead of everyone else. In fact, this is the first step you can take to reclaiming your power to make decisions about you and your family's health that isn't completely dictated by the medical establishment - you know, the same group responsible for 195,000 "accidental" deaths a year.

The bottom line: now you at least know about an alternative that's working for thousands of people - people who've made the decision to start thinking outside the medical box by adding these new wellness-promoting supplements to their diet.

David Lear is an independent nutrition researcher and free-lance writer. His main interest is in supplements that improve health. For further information on the supplements referred to in this article, visit

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