Study Suggests Medical Errors Now Third Leading Cause of Death in the U.S.

From John Hopkins: For More Info, Go Here…

ngd- Remember this study the next time you see American health systems criticize alternative treatments…

Physicians advocate for changes in how deaths are reported to better reflect reality
Release Date: May 3, 2016


  • 10 percent of all U.S. deaths are now due to medical error. – Click to Tweet
  • The third highest cause of death in the U.S. is medical error.- Click to Tweet
  • Medical errors are an under-recognized cause of death. – Click to Tweet

Analyzing medical death rate data over an eight-year period, Johns Hopkins patient safety experts have calculated that more than 250,000 deaths per year are due to medical error in the U.S. Their figure, published May 3 in The BMJ, surpasses the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) third leading cause of death — respiratory disease, which kills close to 150,000 people per year.

The Johns Hopkins team says the CDC’s way of collecting national health statistics fails to classify medical errors separately on the death certificate. The researchers are advocating for updated criteria for classifying deaths on death certificates.

“Incidence rates for deaths directly attributable to medical care gone awry haven’t been recognized in any standardized method for collecting national statistics,” says Martin Makary, M.D., M.P.H., professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and an authority on health reform. “The medical coding system was designed to maximize billing for physician services, not to collect national health statistics, as it is currently being used.”

Leave a Reply