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Medical errors a leading cause of death in the United States?

Most Houston residents will need to go to the doctor at least once this year. Patients expect that their doctor will be knowledgeable and accurate with their diagnosis and treatment. Many times this is true but a disturbing study has emerged that has highlighted the high presence of medical mistakes in the United States that can lead to wrongful death.

Two doctors from Johns Hopkins are arguing that medical errors are the number 3 cause of death in the United States, behind heart disease and cancer. The doctors believe that somewhere between 200,000 and 400,000 patients die each year because of preventable medical mistakes. Despite the potentially staggering number of people who die from medical mistakes, this cause of death is not even recognized. Most death certificates do not list a cause of death of a medical error. The errors can be surgical errors, infections, medication errors, etc.

No one expects they will be the victim of a medical error but most people may actually be on the receiving end of a mistake. Hopefully that mistake isn't serious but for many families these mistakes can cause serious injury or even death. If a family believes a loved one is a victim of a serious medical mistake, they may want to speak with a legal professional skilled in medical malpractice. An attorney can review medical records and consult with medical experts to determine what happened. They can hold medical professionals accountable for their mistakes.

Medical errors are a major concern in the United States. It is important that everyone takes these errors seriously and that medical professionals are held accountable. Compensation may be available for medical expenses, pain and suffering and other damages.

Source: nbcnews.com, "Could medical errors be No. 3 cause of death?", Maggie Fox and Lauren Dunn, May 4, 2016

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