Medical Errors Are the Third Leading Cause of Death in the U.S.

Posted on May 20, 2016

According to a frightening article published in Consumer Reports, medical error is the third leading cause of death in the United States, falling just behind such notorious killers as heart disease and cancer. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore looked at data going back to 1999 and calculated that approximately 251,454 Americans die every year due to medical errors in hospitals. The study’s authors believe this underestimates the problem because previous research suggests that closer to 440,000 Americans die each year due to hospital medical errors. Researchers said, “We believe this understates the true incidence of death due to medical error because the studies cited rely on medical errors extractable in documented health records and include only inpatient deaths.”

So, what is killing all these patients? Major issues include things like preventable infections, drug errors, mistaken diagnoses, and poor communication—especially after a patient is discharged.

What causes of death trail medical error? You’d be surprised who the culprits are. In descending order, they are chronic lower respiratory diseases, accidents (unintentional injuries), cerebrovascular diseases (strokes), Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, pneumonia and influenza, kidney disease, suicide, firearms, and motor vehicles.

The Law Firm of Farah & Farah is Here to Help

If you have lost a loved one due to medical error, you and your family may be able to purse compensation for medical malpractice and any possible wrongful death damages. To secure the settlement you need and deserve, you’ll need to contact an experienced medical malpractice and wrongful death attorney. The legal team at the law offices of Farah & Farah have been representing the families of wrongful death victims for over 35 years. We will take a personal interest in your case. Call us today at (800) 533-3555 for a free consultation.

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