Medical errors kill more people than car crashes or new disease outbreaks. They kill more people annually than breast cancer, AIDS, plane crashes, or drug overdoses. A new study estimates that they are the third leading cause of death in the United States, causing a quarter-million fatalities in 2013 alone.
Patient safety researchers Marty Makary and Michael Daniel published new data in theBritish Medical Journal Tuesday suggesting that preventable medical errors resulted in 251,454 deaths in 2013. If that estimate is correct, the only bigger causes of death are heart disease and cancer.