Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers: Medical Errors Leading Cause of Death

Studies conducted by Dr. Martin Makary and Dr. Michael Daniel at Johns Hopkins indicate that medical errors account for at least 251,454 deaths each year in the U.S., making medical errors the third leading cause of death in the country after heart disease and cancer. The CDC lists lower respiratory disease as the third leading killer with roughly 147,000 deaths each year; however, inadequate coding systems have allowed the rate of medical error deaths to go unrecognized for years. Death certificate codes are currently aligned with medical billing codes and do not provide accurate information about medical errors.

Researchers who conducted the recent study have stressed the need for increased awareness about the risks and rate of medical errors to spur improvements in hospital patient safety. In order to improve quality of care, shortcomings that lead to fatal medical errors must be recognized and addressed. According to Makary, many hospitals do not invest in medical error solutions because they do not realize how big the problem is. Also, funding for medical error research is limited, and there is no financial incentive for hospitals to make improvements. Makary has suggested that death certificates should include an indication of whether or not a medical mistake contributed to a patient’s death. However, currently such information is not reported on death certificates.

Medical errors are a leading killer in the U.S., and more must be done to hold negligent doctors and hospitals accountable for the preventable deaths of so many patients. If you have lost a loved one because of a medical error, you may have grounds to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Maryland. Our Maryland medical malpractice lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton will review your case at no charge to determine your best course of legal action. Contact us online or call 800-547-4LAW (4529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation.