The Centers for Disease Control reports that in 2013, 611,105 people died of heart disease, 584,881 died of cancer and 149,205 died of chronic respiratory disease — the top three causes of death in the U.S. at the time. Now, a recent study conducted by two patient safety experts at Johns Hopkins and published on May 3, 2016 in The British Medical Journal, suggests that more than 250,000 deaths per year in the United States are due to medical errors. This figure represents the third leading cause of death and accounts for nearly 10 percent of all U.S. deaths. The newly calculated figure for medical errors puts this cause of death behind cancer but ahead of respiratory disease.
In their study, the researchers examined four separate studies that analyzed medical death rate data from 2000 to 2008, including one by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. According to the researchers, this figure most likely represents an undercount, because they were unable to capture data from deaths that occur in outpatient clinics, nursing homes and other non-hospital settings where health care workers care for fragile patients who need complex care.
If you live in Maryland or Washington, D.C. and think you may have a case involving a medical error by a health care provider, contact the medical malpractice team at Stecco Law, P.C. Our firm handles cases of medical malpractice arising from care in hospitals, urgent care centers, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, outpatient clinics and physician offices. Medical malpractice cases can be very complex, but we take pride in keeping our clients fully informed during the legal process. You can schedule a free consultation at either of our offices, where we can review your case and begin offering you the help you need.