Third Leading Cause Of Death In United States: Medical Errors

Published on May 25th, 2016

When you are in need of medical treatment you trust your hospital with your care. The nightmares of nurses giving the medications to the wrong patients or neglecting to diagnose a condition may not typically be thoughts that cross your mind. An analysis published in BMJ unrolls the fact that medical errors in hospitals are astonishingly common and may possibly be the third-leading cause of death in the United States. Medical errors are said to account for 251,000 lives each year, more than accidents, strokes, respiratory disease, and Alzheimer’s.

Professor Martin Markary, at John Hopkins University School of Medicine, states that the category of medical errors includes everything from negligent doctors to systemic issues. Makary states “It boils down to people dying from the care that they receive rather than the disease for which they are seeking care”. Markary’s research involves four comprehensive studies, whereas the IOM conducted one single study. The IOM estimated medical errors to account for 98,000 deaths per year. Markarys comprehensive study calculates 251,000, about 700 deaths a day – close to 9.5 percent of all deaths in the United States.

Healthcare providers actively preach patient safety and showcase various safety procedures they practice, however, few show the public the specifics of cases of harm resulting from medical errors. The CDC does not require reporting of medical errors in the data they collect regarding deaths through billing codes. Markary and his co-author Michael Daniel, conducted their research to bring awareness to this issue. They believe that the CDC should update its statistics reporting requirements so that it is mandatory for healthcare providers to report whether there were any medical errors that lead to a preventable death.

Read The Full Story: The Washington Post

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