Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers say medical errors should officially rank as the No. 3 cause of death in the United States. It reportedly claims more than 250,000 American lives annually, just behind heart disease and cancer, which each kill roughly 600,000 people a year.
And yet, respiratory disease, which causes approximately 150,000 deaths per year has claimed the third spot ranking. The researchers sent a letter to the CDC to tack on medical mistakes to its yearly list of death causes. Researchers also called on local agencies to change the way medical error cases are listed on death certificates. That way, the government could more easily keep track of the issue.
Medical mistakes run the gamut. They could be complications during surgery that aren’t recognized. They could be incorrect doses of medication. They could be overlooked doses of medication or the wrong medication. It could be an obvious diagnosis that a doctor simply failed to see. Continue reading