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The last study of this magnitude (The Institute of Medicine, 1999) found that medical mistakes caused as many as 98,000 deaths and more than one million injuries a year in the US. A government report (Dept. of Health and Services, Nov. 2010) said that in October 2008, 13.5 percent of Medicare beneficiaries, or 134,000 patients, experienced "adverse events" during hospital stays.
This latest study said that many of the problems were caused by the hospitals' failure to use measures that had been proved to avert mistakes and to prevent infections from devices like urinary catheters, ventilators and lines inserted into veins and arteries.