Our Blog

Medical errors the nation’s third-most-common cause of death

When you feel unwell and are not sure why, you probably schedule a visit with your Washington doctor so he or she can determine the problem and tell you how you can fix it. Regrettably, though, today’s doctors and physicians are not immune to making mistakes, and there are numerous areas in which they can potentially make errors. At Elk & Elk, we recognize that some doctor errors can mean the difference between you fully recovering and potentially losing your life, and we also recognize that doctor errors have become alarmingly common across the United States.

Medical mistakes have become so commonplace in recent years, per CNBC, that they are now the third-most-common cause of death among Americans, with only heart disease and cancer claiming more lives. Just how many serious medical errors are U.S. doctors making on an annual basis?

According to the results of one recent study, about 250,000 Americans pass away each year due to doctor errors, among them surgical, administrative and diagnosis errors. Some feel, however, that the true number of Americans losing their lives every year because of doctor mistakes is closer to about 440,000. So, why the confusion?

Typically, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is the governing body responsible for compiling death statistics, and they get the majority of their information from coroners, medical examiners and other professionals who hold similar roles. The problem is, many of these workers do not note when medical errors contribute to a death, so this information never makes its way to the CDC. You can learn more about medical malpractice by checking out our webpage.