Are Medical Errors The Leading Cause of Death in the U.S.?
There are many diseases and illnesses that take the lives of Americans each year; heart disease and cancer take the most lives than any other disease. It’s hard to think that the one place most everyone goes to in order to recover from these illnesses is also one of the causes of so many of the deaths in our country. According to a John Hopkins study that took place in May of 2016. Medical error is now ranked as the third leading cause of death, taking the lives of 250,000 people in the United States every year. This is absolutely inexcusable; we need to figure out the cause and stop this from happening any further. One possible contributor is the well-known fact that doctors are often burnt out from their duties of overseeing the care of numerous patients daily. That being said, one of the main issues with this entire topic is that it is hardly openly discussed. The tolerance level for these type of errors is much higher than that of any other industry. It is possible that the lack of standardization in medical practices could be a contributing factor. Doctors are given a lot of free range with their methods and procedures. For instance, in the airline industry when a plane crashes or a passenger is mistreated, it is widely considered a public safety issue. Why do we not hold medical institutions to that same level of responsibility? Another frightening point to consider is that this is only the statistics for the number of deaths caused by medical error. There are estimates that severe patient injuries that resulted from a medical error are at a number 4o times the death rate.
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