Medical Errors can be really fatal and the results of this study will shock you!!

Doctors are people who we trust to save us and give ourselves into their hands in times of emergency. The doctors go through years of practice and training in order to minimize the errors occurring in treating the patients. They are also one of the most stressed out professionals of all, thanks to all the complications that they deal with, add to that, the unpredictable and long hours at work. Usually an error occurs during the stages of diagnosis because there are hundreds of diseases showing same symptoms. But a study that was recently published in the BMJ, showed something so shocking, that it has become the talk of the medical fraternity.

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1 The top two causes of death in United States

The BMJ recently published the results of a vastly carried out study on the top causes of deaths in the United States and the top two positions have been taken by Heart disease at number one and Cancer at number two. The study analyzed the death rate data over a period of eight long years and came out with the results, recently. There was heart disease that caused the deaths of over 611,000 people and cancer being the reason of deaths of 585,000 people. These two diseases cause the majority of deaths, all because of the sedentary lifestyle and addiction to smoking and other vices. But the most shocking fact that was revealed from the study was that a very unique and possibly debatable reason for death came in at number 3, medical errors.

causes of death in United States

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2 The third most shocking cause of death in United States

The study and results authored by Martin Makary, MD, MPH, Professor of Surgery, and research fellow Michael Daniel, from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland found that medical and hospital errors accounted for roughly 251,000 deaths in the U.S, every year. But the catch here is that deaths due to medical errors are not noted as such on death certificates, which are used by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC to rank various diseases causing deaths. Human and system errors are not noted on death certificates as they do not come under the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) codes for cause of death.

most shocking cause of death in United States

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3 More information on the third most common cause of death in US

According to the researchers, they analyzed the deaths from 2000-2008 and based on the numbers they crunched, a total of around 251,454 deaths were caused by medical errors. This translates to almost 10% of all deaths in the US in last 8 years. The authors suggested many ideas and changes that will make these errors more visible, so that they can be studied and preventive measures can be taken to avoid such deaths. One is changing the birth certificate to include the cause of death, but also asking whether the death occurred due to a preventable medical complication. They also suggested hospitals to carry independent inquiries and investigations into cases where the death of the patient looked like a result of any error, human or system.

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