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Medical errors are third leading cause of death in U.S., researchers say

It seems like every other day we hear stories about medical procedures gone wrong - including situations involving doctors operating on the wrong part of the body, nurses giving patients the wrong meds and everything in between.

However, no matter how bad the stories get, most of us like to think that such horrors will never happen to us. Well, if some researchers are correct, all of us had better think again.

According to a recent medical analysis conducted by researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and published in BMJ, medical errors are now the third leading cause of death in the United States - behind only heart disease and cancer. In fact, using studies reported since 1999, the researchers concluded that over 250,000 deaths every year, on average, are linked to medical errors and mistakes.

Can anything be done?

While the researchers acknowledged that some human error is inevitable, they still believe there are things the medical industry can do to improve patient safety, including:

  • When errors occur, make them more visible so the effects can be intercepted and mitigated
  • Always have remedies available to rescue patients
  • Follow medical procedures that take human limitations into account

If this recent analysis has shown us anything, it is that medical errors - and the severe injuries that accompany them - are a much larger problem than many would like to believe. Fortunately, though, help may be available in the form of a medical malpractice claim. Contact our lawyers today for help.

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