An Alarming Statistic: Medical Errors are the Number 3 Cause of Death in the US
A study published in the British Medical Journal has estimated that medical errors are the number three cause of death in the United States. The study, click here for more information, found that 250,000 deaths result from medical errors each year. That number may actually be higher because autopsy reports and death certificates may not necessarily list a medical error as the cause of death.
Two issues identified in the study are preventable infections and allergic reactions to medications. One physician interviewed noted that not all deaths and medical errors are directly made by a physician or nurse. Frighteningly, they may be caused by computer errors and the fact that patients are no longer seeing one doctor but many different providers at different locations.
We have seen this in our own practice where individuals have been treated at urgent care facilities where providers may not have access to a patient's full medical history and prescribe drugs that are contraindicated for that patient.