A recent study conducted by Johns Hopkins Medicine has revealed that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in America. Researchers on the project have also stated that a lack of reporting has allowed the problem to stay hidden from the public for so long.
How Many People Are Killed by Medical Errors Each Year?
The study authors have estimated that as many as 250,000 people are killed due to medical errors every year in this country, which means only heart disease and cancer kill more people annually. Dr. Martin Makary, lead author of the study, has also urged the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to start including those killed by medical errors on its list of top causes of death each year.
According to the researchers at Johns Hopkins, the primary reason for not knowing exactly how many people are killed each year by medical errors is due to the fact that the CDC’s coding system used to collect data from death certificates doesn’t record things like diagnostic mistakes, communication failures, or poor judgement.
However, the chief of the mortality statistics department at the CDC has refuted that claim. He says that the coding system does see some medical errors, but will only record the underlying condition, such as heart disease or cancer, as the cause of death. He also added that even in situations where the underlying disease was not necessarily fatal, and the death was caused by a medical error, the preexisting condition will still be recorded as the cause of death.
The study authors are adamant that some form of reporting should be changed to include medical errors as a cause of death on CDC reports. Without doing so, the researchers say that public knowledge will stay minimal and there will continue to be a lack of research aimed at finding a solution.
It is unacceptable that a place that is supposed to be dedicated to healing people manages to cause so much injury each year. Something has to be done to improve safety procedures and accountability. What do you think should change? Do you have any suggestions for improving the safety of millions of Americans who are hospitalized throughout the year?
Thousands of people are hurt due to medical errors every year. The Atlantic City medical malpractice lawyers at Targan Pender & Strickland, P.C. have a wealth of experience helping people harmed by doctors and other health professionals.