'Avoidable' deaths – one in four lives could have been saved.

Posted by Joanna Rzepecka on

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I was shocked to read this week that one quarter of total deaths in 2014 could potentially have been avoided. The article that I came across quoted figures released by the Office for National Statistics for 2014. 

Over a third of the number of avoidable deaths was related to cancer, followed by cardiac diseases and strokes. The statistics also indicated a higher percentage of deaths in men in comparison to women. 

By commissioning that review, the Department of Health aimed to look at deaths that could have been prevented by the provision of a good quality of care delivered in good time, and also by the promotion of a healthier lifestyle.

Although the results are upsetting; the report has identified potential issues which have prompted further action. The Department of Health plans investments to improve early diagnosis of cancer and support research into dementia. Campaigns to promote heathy lifestyles will continue. 

Commenting on the figures, Dr Anne Campbell of the ONS said, "People who die prematurely from avoidable causes lose an average of 23 potential years of life. For children and young people, this figure rises to 72 years."

Meanwhile, England's Department of Health said, "We want to cut all avoidable deaths to help people live better and for longer".

It is hoped that by 2020 the number of avoidable deaths will have decreased.

Although I was shocked by the statistics at the beginning of the article, I felt reassured that appropriate measures are being put in place and steps being taken to reduce the number of deaths going forward. It is also important to remember that lifestyle promotion can only go so far. Individuals have to listen to the information and make changes in their own lives.

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About the Author

Photograph of Joanna Rzepecka

Joanna is a Trainee Legal Executive in the Clinical Negligence team at BL Claims.

Joanna Rzepecka
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023 8085 7478

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