Johns Hopkins: 3rd leading cause of US death? Medical errors

Johns Hopkins: 3rd leading cause of US death? Medical errors

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A newly released study from one of the world's top medical schools reveals a shocking conclusion.

Over a quarter million Americans die from what happens to them IN medical facilities, making it the third leading cause of death in America, behind only heart disease and cancer.

Johns Hopkins patient safety experts analyzed medical death rate data over an eight-year period, and put out the findings yesterday.

The report says  "... most errors represent systemic problems, including poorly coordinated care, fragmented insurance networks, the absence or underuse of safety nets, and other protocols, in addition to unwarranted variation in physician practice patterns that lack accountability."

In an interview with National Public Radio Wednesday, Dr. Martin Makary, professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, cited gag orders imposed on survivors of victims as one reason that the public is ignorant of the high number of victims.

A number of Johns Hopkins doctors have signed a letter to the Centers for Disease Control, asking that the method of collection of vital statistics be altered to include instances of medical error which leads to a person's death.

Click HERE to read more on the report.

NPR hosted a discussion of this topic on Morning Edition Wednesday, and offered these resources of their website:

Have you or a loved one been harmed during medical care? Join the discussion at ProPublica's Patient Safety Facebook group or fill out the Patient Harm Questionnaire.

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