Scared To Fly? A Hospital Visit Is Far More Dangerous: WHO
Here's another thing to tell people afraid of flying -- airplanes could actually be safer than going to the hospital.
That's the message from the World Health Organization, which announced this week that the risk of dying from medical errors and infections is greater than the risk of dying from a plane crash, Reuters reported.
The chance of a hospital error is about 1 in 10 in most hospitals around the world, and the chance of dying from that error is about 1 in 300, according to Reuters. But the risk of dying from a plane crash is 1 in 10 million passengers.
"It shows that health care generally worldwide still has a long way to go," Liam Donaldson, the WHO's envoy for patient safety, said in a news briefing that Reuters reported on.
The chance of hospital errors and infections is different from country to country, Postmedia News reported. For example, in Canada, the hospital-associated infection rate is 11.6 percent, while in the United States, it's as low as 4.5 percent. But worldwide, the infection rates could be as high as 16 percent, according to Postmedia News.
Aside from death, hospital-acquired infections and medical errors can cause major health problems for people. Hospital-acquired bloodstream infections in the United States make up 10 percent of all hospital-acquired infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And bloodstream infections are considered the eighth leading cause of death in the U.S.
While we're looking at the odds, here are your chances of some other unfortunate events.
The odds of getting struck by lightning in any one year is 1 in 1 million, while the chance of getting struck in your entire lifetime is 1 in 10,000, according to the National Weather Service. And according to 2000 U.S. data from the University of Florida, the chance of getting bitten by a shark is 1 in 11.5 million.