From the Archives of Internal Medicine January 11th 1999, comes the headline, “Despite high-tech medicine, diseases from medical treatment still significant cause of Intensive Care Unit admissions.” Doctor caused diseases are referred to “iatrogenic” diseases, and according to the article are a major cause of ICU admissions. Surprisingly, the problem has not changed since 1980. This suggests that even with alleged advances in medical technology the results for the patient were just as risky.
In another study in 1994, French researchers reviewed 623 patients admitted to ICU. Of those 10.9% were determined to be iatrogenic disease admissions. A majority of those were drug related and next in incidence were medical acts. Of these 13 died and the costs for all were $688,470.00 in the studied cases. This study concluded that 51% of these were preventable.
Groups outside medicine have claimed that the numbers are much higher than medically reported and that the costs of iatrogenic diseases overall run into the hundreds of billions.