It might come as a surprise to learn that, just behind heart disease and cancer, errors in the medical field are the leading cause of death in the United States. A new study by Drs. Makary and Daniel and Johns Hopkins estimates that there are 251,454 deaths due to medical errors every year, and they believe this is a conservative number.
Considering that there is no billing code for “Medical Error” on death certificates, the cause of death of thousands of individuals could not be included in the new estimate. Cited in the study is the story of a woman whose liver was accidentally cut during tests, without the doctor realizing it. The patient was sent home. She suffered internal bleeding, cardiac arrest, and eventually died. Instead of the doctor’s error, the cause of death on her death certificate was listed as a “cardiovascular issue.”
Dr. Makary believes that there could be better systems in place at hospitals to make them safer. He also believes that there should be a place on death certificates to indicate if the death is related to a medical error.
We believe that medical errors in hospitals are a serious problem in the United States. Without proper documentation in regards to patients’ deaths, hospitals and doctors will continue to make mistakes that cost individuals their lives. If you have lost a loved one to a medical error, you might know how devastating this can be. It can also be very frustrating being unable to hold anyone accountable for the error.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our attorneys if you or a loved one have been the victim of a medical error. You might be entitled to compensation for your condition or loss.