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Stop medical errors, hospital infections: the second leading cause of death save tens of thousands of lives and billions of dollars, say book authors.

OTTAWA - Thousands of Ontarians die needlessly due to medical errors, hospital-acquired infections and cost-cutting each year. So say the authors of a new book titled Epidemic of Medical Errors and Hospital-Acquired Infections, who will begin a 15-community tour this week that includes Toronto, Montreal, Thunder Bay and Windsor.

Ottawa: Thursday, May 10 (9:30 a.m.) at 330 Kent St. (Royal Canadian Legion-Lower Hall)

Brockville: Thursday, May 10 (4 p.m.) at 180 Park St (Royal Canadian Legion)

Cornwall: Thursday, May 10 (1 p.m.) at 800 7th St West (Benson Centre)

Toronto: June 4 at the Isabel Bader Theatre, 93 Charles St. W.

Download the Tour Schedule below for more cities and dates. 

Hospital cost-cutting planned by the Ontario government will make the epidemic worse.

The book probes the systemic issues – like unsafe patient volumes, inadequate staffing and shiftwork – of preventable hospital deaths due to what medical insiders refer to as “adverse events” such as hospital-acquired infections and bed sores that turn septic and kill patients in both Canada and the United States. Medical errors and adverse events are even higher in the community sector and in private independent clinics.

Edited by William Charney, an occupational health specialist for 30 years (ten as director of environmental health at the Department of Public Health in San Francisco, and five at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal) the book provides research from both sides of the border and examines the science behind possible solutions to prevent deaths.

Preventing infections and errors saves hospitals money. But we are dealing with an epidemic of harm. Unless there is a will to tackle the systemic issues, little will change to subdue the epidemic,” says Charney.

His research shows that medical errors lead to more than 788,000 deaths a year in the U.S., making them the leading cause of death. In Canada, it’s estimated between 56,000 and 63,000 people die as a result of medical errors and hospital-acquired infections – the second leading cause of death. Cancer is number one.

18 per cent of hospital admissions result in medical errors. The personal suffering this results in is staggering. But preventable medical errors are going to get worse if the Ontario government cuts hospital budgets and thousands more beds as planned. Bed sores, for example, a leading result of medical error, are a direct result of understaffing,” says Michael Hurley, president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU) who has contributed a chapter to the book.

Epidemic of Medical Errors and Hospital-Acquired Infections is published by Taylor & Francis, a leading international academic publisher.

For more information please contact:

Stella Yeadon
CUPE Communications (CUPE/OCHU)

Tour Schedule