Medical Mistakes Number 3 Cause of Death in US: Experts - NBC 7 San Diego

Medical Errors No. 3 Cause of Death in US: Experts

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    Medical Mistakes Number 3 Cause of Death in US: Experts
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    This Feb. 4, 2016, file photo shows surgical scissors and forceps during a mock surgery.

    Two medical experts said Wednesday that medical mistakes — from surgical disasters to accidental drug overdoses — are the No. 3 cause of death in the U.S., NBC News reported.

    Dr. Martin Makary and Michael Daniel from Johns Hopkins University said a count of all preventable deaths reveals that between 200,000 and 400,000 people a year die from these mistakes. 

    Many health policy experts have been trying to call attention to the problem of medical errors for more than a decade. One problem is that mistakes are not usually put on death certificates. 

    Cancer and heart disease are neck and neck as the top cause of death in the United States. In 2012, 24 percent of all deaths were from heart disease — 599,711 to be precise. And 582,623 deaths, or 23 percent, were from cancer.