When people think of common causes of death, they may often think of certain diseases or car accidents. According to a new study, though, medical errors may be considered the third leading cause of death in the United States.
The study published by BMJ suggests that medical errors result in over 250,000 deaths a year. This makes it more dangerous than lower respiratory diseases and just behind heart disease and cancer. The researchers from Johns Hopkins analyzed four different studies and noticed the death rate information regarding medical errors. They believe that the number would be much higher if the system included deaths in home or nursing home care.
Still, the studies suggest that a number of medical errors go unobserved on medical records because of the insurance billing codes. These codes do not currently have an adequate match to human or medical errors or system factors. This means the amount of accurate data regarding medical errors is sparse.
Death certificates do not show the rate at which medical errors occur. However, the studies show how serious medical errors can be and how often they result in death. A proper system labeling human error as a cause of death can hold doctors accountable and help them improve on the safety of patients worldwide.
At The Law Office of Snyder & Snyder, P.A., our Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys understand how difficult a situation such as a medical error can be. We take the time to analyze your situation and determine what went wrong, who is liable, and if legal action is available.
If you lost someone as a result of a medical error, call our firm. These types of cases are sensitive as they involve the wrongful death of someone as a result of negligence. We are here for you and will tenaciously seek the justice you and your family deserve.