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Medical errors rank as the third-leading cause of death

On Behalf of | Nov 10, 2022 | Medical Malpractice, Wrongful Death

Cancer and heart disease are the two top causes of death in residents of New Jersey and the rest of the country. Rounding out the top three is something doctors don’t want people to know about: medical errors. According to a study, this has officially been ranked as the third-leading cause of death.

Study from Johns Hopkins shows the prevalence of medical errors

A study from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine reports that medical errors are a wider problem than many people realize. While some patients might pass away from issues such as hospital-acquired infections, these problems don’t just occur out of nowhere. The study explains how they stem from medical errors and negligence. This is equivalent to around 10% of all deaths each year, a startling number as people expect to be safe while in a doctor’s care or in the hospital.

Deaths from medical errors are underreported

Many deaths that occur due to medical errors go underreported, according to the Johns Hopkins study. This is because medical examiners usually don’t make note of such issues when determining the cause of death. This can result in families not knowing what really happened to their loved one and being unable to file wrongful death lawsuits to hold the at-fault medical professional liable.

The leader of the study stated that medical errors are due to a variety of factors. Some of those include poor judgment, mixups, misdiagnoses and unqualified staff. He also said that the issue with underreported deaths from medical errors is because of the way the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tallies up the causes of death. His team sent a letter to the CDC to implore that it changes how it reports deaths stemming from illnesses, injuries and morbid conditions.

Many medical errors are preventable. However, they could leave families dealing with tragic aftermath when they occur.