Medical Errors Third Leading Cause of Death in America

Posted on Oct 19, 2020 in Diabetes, Heart Disease, Nutrition

Medical Errors Third Leading Cause of Death in America

According to a study conducted by Johns Hopkins, (Feb. 22, 2018) in excess of 250,000 persons in just the United States die every year due to ‘preventable’ medical errors, while other reports claim the tally to be as high as 440,000.

Iatrogenic (medical error and negligence) is the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer. Also, one in seven Medicare patients receiving care in a hospital is victim of a medical error.  Medical errors do not stop at the hospital, they happen in virtually every healthcare location such as clinics, nursing homes, surgery centers, medical offices, pharmacies and in the homes of patients.

What is Iatrogenic?

Medical description of Iatrogenesis expresses any effect on a person that results from any activity or one or more acting as healthcare professionals or promoting products or services as beneficial to health, which does not support a goal of the person affected. The term Iatrogenic only refers to negative outcomes describing adverse effects including unexpected and expected results from medications, medical treatments, surgery complications and drug interactions for example.

Most Common Root Causes of Medical Errors

Some of the most common medical errors include:

Communication on medications
Medication errors and those related to anesthesia
Infections contracted at hospitals
Mistakes and delays in diagnosis
Treatment delays
Insufficient follow-up after treatment
Insufficient monitoring after a procedure
Unsatisfactory action applied on test results
Proper precautions were not employed
Technical medical errors

Example of an iatrogenic illness

Aggressive therapies like chemotherapy and radiation therapy typically produce iatrogenic effects such as hair loss, hemolytic anemia, brain damage, infertility, lymphedema, diabetes, nausea, vomiting and many more.

Leading Cause of Death in Hospitals

Sepsis was the main cause of death in hospitals according to findings presented in JAMA Network Open.Feb.22, 2019. Sepsis begins outside of hospital in 80% of cases.

Patients Who Die in Surgery

Not promising, nearly twice as many patients die after surgery than previously thought! According to National Health Services (NHS) report serious inadequacies in patient treatment, resulting in one of 28 (3.6 percent) dying within two months of surgery, published in The Lancet.Sep 21, 2012.

We have touched on main medical errors complied to date, which are far greater than expected! What to do about it? Sorry to say ‘best of luck’. These findings and problems are so wide spread and out of the patient’s control – once we past the thresholds of those we put the fate of our lives in – all concerning factors are at the discretion of those professionals we put our trust in.

Copyright © 2020 – All Rights Reserved – Michelle Honda Ph.D.


Medical errors third-leading cause of death in America

20 Tips To Help Prevent Medical Errors: Patient Fact Sheet

What is Iatrogenic?

The most common cause of medical errors?

What is an example of an iatrogenic illness?

Sepsis begins outside of hospital in 80% of cases August 23, 2016

Surgery death rate ‘twice as high as thought’ – Telegraph


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While close attention was given to the accuracy of information in this article, the author accepts neither responsibility nor liability to any person with respect to injury, damage, loss or any circumstances involving alleged causes directly or indirectly related to the information in this article. The sole purpose is to educate and broaden ones awareness. This information is not meant to replace medical advice or services provided by a health care professional.


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