Sadly, medical errors are at present the third most common cause of death in the U.S.A.
Patient safety expert researchers at Johns Hopkins published in the BMJ (British Medical Journal) that, due to the manner in which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) classifies death on the death certificate, lower numbers of errors than actually occur were reported.
The reality and a very sad number: more than 250,000 deaths per year in the U.S. are due to medical error.
You can imagine many possible causes, from variable physician practice patterns to poor care due to lack of coordination of health care delivery and no safety net for the patients. You must be well informed; insist on understanding when it comes to your medical care. Do not underestimate your role in decreasing medical mistakes.
FYI – the leading cause of death in the U.S. is cardiovascular (heart) disease, followed by cancer.