May 4, 2016

Medical Error: Now the third leading cause of death in the US

By chirosushi In News

Article Snippets Pulled from CNN and Vox

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.

In fact, the study, from doctors at Johns Hopkins, suggests medical errors may kill more people than lower respiratory diseases like emphysema and bronchitis do. That would make these medical mistakes the third leading cause of death in the United States. That would place medical errors right behind heart disease and cancer.
Through their analysis of four other studies examining death rate information, the doctors estimate there are at least 251,454 deaths due to medical errors annually in the United States. The authors believe the number is actually much higher, as home and nursing home deaths are not counted in that total.

 

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