Recent Study Finds Medical Errors are Third Leading Cause of Death in the United States
Even though medical professionals strive to provide the highest standard of care to their patients, thousands of medical mistakes take place every day in the US. Medical mistakes occur regularly due to communication breakdowns, diagnostic errors, poor judgment, and inadequate skill. These mistakes can directly result in patient harm and death, and are not identified on a person’s death certificate.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) compiles an annual list of the most common causes of death in the United States. The list is created using death certificates filled out by physicians, funeral directors, medical examiners, and coroners. However, a major limitation of the death certificate is that it relies on assigning an International Classification of Disease (ICD) code to the cause of death. As a result, causes of death not associated with an ICD code, such as medical error by a healthcare professional or medical equipment failure or hospital system failure, are not captured.
A new study published in a respected medical journal finds that hundreds of thousands of patients are fatally injured every year due to preventable medical mistakes. This study estimates that patient harm caused by medical errors is responsible for more than 250,000 deaths every year.
To put this figure into perspective, it would mean that medical care itself is the third leading cause of death in the United States, with medical errors accounting for nearly 1 out of every 10 fatalities in the U.S annually.
The doctors who conducted this study say that 250,000 patient deaths per year is actually a conservative estimate. The real number of patient deaths may in fact be much higher, due to the fact that medical errors leading to fatalities have been severely underreported for years.
If you or a loved one feel you are the victim of a medical mistake contact The Yost Legal Group today at 1-800-YOST-LAW (800-967-8529). When you call, you will speak with an experienced Baltimore Medical Malpractice attorney absolutely FREE.
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