Medical Errors Are 3rd Leading Cause Of Death In U.S.
The fact that the society we live in is no longer a healthy one is widely known, but what if I told you that part of this sickness is human-caused? Let alone the chaotic lifestyle that we have and leads to different diseases like heart problems, diabetes or cancer, there is another type of negligence that leads to the 3rd cause of death in U.S, and that is medical errors.
How could we let this happen? The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention do not require a periodic medical error report, which means there isn’t an official number of such cases. Practically, those who died because of medical malpractice were not registered in a particular account, regardless the type of negligence. Johns Hopkins University researchers have defined more types of errors that could be easily prevented, if there were any interest to it:
A doctor that fails to diagnose correctly his patient is slowly sentencing him to illness and possible death. The later he discovers the real cause of a problem, the worse the condition.
Outdated methods and technologies are another way of misdiagnosing someone, as well as failing to interpret the results. All of the above are a sure way for malpractice.
#2. Applying the treatment
Starting with avoiding to apply a certain treatment or being unsure about what dose should they recommend, and going to actual mistakes like failed operations or procedures, there are a lot of missteps that can be made at this point.
#3. Follow-up and monitoring
A precarious post-operation/procedure follow-up can quickly lead to collapse. Right after intervention, the immune system is more weakened than normal, so any infection can be quickly caught, if not vigilant.
#4. Other causes
Which may include miscommunication between departments, equipment or system failure, or simply a lack of experience or skill in nurses and/or doctors.
Essentially, they are mostly caused by negligence and can be easily avoided if there was more attention paid to details. According to IOM, there are around 614,000 deaths each year due to heart disease, approximately 592,000 cancer-related deaths and above 251,000 deaths due to medical errors in U.S only.
Do you personally know any similar case? What other causes or malpractices do you know death-related? Share your stories in the comments section below!