A study by researchers at John Hopkins claims that medical errors should rank as the third leading cause of death in the U.S. The study also highlights how problems with tracking vital statistics keep the problems away from the public eye.
The study’s authors ask for changes in death certificates, in order to better highlight problems with medical care. They also urge the CDC to add medical errors to its annual list of the top causes of death. The study estimates that over 250,000 Americans die each year from medical errors, which is behind heart disease and cancer, each of which kill about 600,000 people annually.
According to the study, the coding system used by the CDC to record death certificate data does not capture things like communication breakdowns, diagnostic errors and poor judgment. Some common medical mistakes that can lead to death include unrecognized surgical complications and medication errors. The CDC takes issue with the study, saying that codes do list complications from medical care, but the published statistics only count the underlying cause of death, which is the condition that led a person to seek treatment.
If you believe that your loved one’s death was due to a medical error, call the Houston medical malpractice attorneys at Kennedy Hodges at 855-947-0707. We can help. Call us today to schedule a free consultation, or visit our Twitter page to learn more.