Mistakes doctors - the third most common cause of death in the US

    Officially, there is no such reason.

    What do people die from? It would seem a simple question. The World Health Organization (WHO) disseminates official statistics , which clearly indicate the main causes of death in the world. These are diseases of the cardiovascular system and cancer. Then there are other diseases and accidents. But a recent study by specialists from the Johns Hopkins University Medical School calls into question these statistics. The fact is that WHO and other official organizations do not recognize and do not take into account one of the most common causes of death in the world - medical errors. Death from the treatment itself.

    In the case of a medical error, the cause of death is always indicated by the disease in connection with which the patient went to the doctor, even if it was not in itself fatal and would not have led to death.

    According to experts, if you recognize medical errors, they will occupy the third place (!) Among the main causes of death after diseases of the cardiovascular system and cancer. In the US alone, they kill 250,000 patients annually (251,414 deaths in 2013).

    In the USA and other countries, the mistakes of doctors are not codified in any way in the death certificate, such a code is simply not in the ICD classifier . And if there is no code, then there is no problem.

    However, researchers Martin Makari and Michael Daniel have analyzed state statistics since 1999 and extrapolated it to the total number of hospitalizations in 2013. It turned out that medical errors in reality caused 9.5% of all deaths.

    The authors believe that death due to errors can not be hidden from the statistics. On the contrary, this topic should be researched, discussed, doctors should share their experience and learn from the mistakes of others. This is the only way to reduce mortality.

    The researchers also note that the human factor is inevitable, and these deaths are not always the fault of doctors. However, this factor must be taken into account. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a more effective system for monitoring medical errors, and also include the corresponding line in the classifier and indicate this reason in the death certificate.

    “Bugs play a complex role,” say the researchers. “Although many of them are illogical, but a mistake can end someone’s life with a long life expectancy or hasten the inevitable death.”

    Scientific workpublished May 3, 2016 in the British Medical Journal .

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