US News and World Report has published an article this morning that summarizes a study done by doctors from John Hopkins University School of Medicine. The study found that medical errors are the third leading cause of death for Americans behind only heart disease and cancer. The study estimates 251,454 deaths result each year from medical mistakes. It appears this was based on numbers from 2013 and before. The study’s lead author, Dr. Martin Makary a professor of surgery and health policy at John Hopkins School of Medicine, stated “People don’t just die from heart attacks and bacteria, they die from system-wide failings and poorly coordinated care.”
Dr. Makary went on to state that “throughout the world, medical error leading to patient death is an under-recognized epidemic.” The study defined medical error as “lapses in judgment, skill or coordination of care; mistaken diagnoses; system failures that lead to patient deaths or failure to rescue dying patients; and preventable complications of care.”
Dr. Makary believes that the medical-error research is “underfunded and under-appreciated.” The attorneys at McMath Woods understand and appreciate the great work doctors and health providers do for many patients and their families. However, there are instances where serious injury or even death occur and should have been prevented. If you have a question or concern about what you believe to be a medical error or mistake that has caused serious injury or death, McMath Woods can help.
The full article can be found here https://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2016-05-03/medical-errors-are-third-leading-cause-of-death-in-the-us
McMath Woods is looking for a link to the full study to post for you. The study appeared in Tuesday’s (May 3) British Medical Journal. Here is the link https://www.bmj.com/content/353/bmj.i2139.