Medical errors such as misdiagnosis, mistakes in surgery, wrong dosage of medicines and neglecting care claim the lives of 200,000 Americans every year.
Dr Marty Makary, a surgeon from John Hopkins, led a new study revealing that medical errors rank third in causing death among Americans taking the lives of over 250,000 people per year. This number surpasses the present third ranking killer on the CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention) list, respiratory diseases.
The diseases that take the top spots are cardiovascular ailments and cancer, which claim the lives of nearly 600,000 Americans each, every year. Medical errors are now followed by respiratory ailments that claim around 150,000 lives.
The researchers at the John Hopkins team have urged the CDC to take medical errors as a life threatening phenomenon into consideration.
The CDC list is limited by its method of analysis and for this reason it has so far been unable to recognise medical errors as a leading life threatening phenomenon.
Professor Makary feels that while some diseases are overestimated, other important factors like medical errors as a life threatening reason has not been given much attention by the authorities. He said, “The inability to capture the full impact of medical errors results in a lack of public attention and a failure to invest in research”, reported NaturalNews.
The CDC list information is mostly gathered by information filled out in death certificates, which do not recognise medical errors as a cause of death.
The mortality statistics are analysed by the use of International Classification of Disease Code, hence medical errors which do not belong to this classification is not considered in the statistics.
The researchers have also asked CDC to mention in detail the cause of death even in case of medical errors. They feel that this will bring attention to this phenomenon and eventually better precautions will be taken to reduce the risk of medical errors.