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Medical error statistics

New Jersey residents might be surprised to learn about how deadly medical mistakes are. Heart disease, cancer and respiratory disease were believed to be the top three leading causes of death in 2013, but a study from Johns Hopkins University reports that the third leading cause of death in 2013 was actually medical errors.

Respiratory disease killed 149,205 people in 2013, but researchers say medical mistakes killed at least 251,454 in the same year. The factors that led to deadly medical errors are problems with diagnosing, system defects, provider’s judgement, preventable adverse effects and skill or coordination of care.

The researchers think the CDC should account for medical mistakes so that research money can be allocated to preventing medical errors. The CDC list influences how grant money is awarded. An estimated 700 deaths occur each day due to medical mistakes, so some argue that the topic needs more recognition and discussion.

Finding the right doctor may make a difference when it comes to receiving proper care. One physician recommends looking for a doctor who genuinely seems to care about one’s health, asks personal questions and makes eye contact. Patients should also be aware that it is acceptable to decline procedures. There are no guarantees that a procedure will be successful, so patients must evaluate the risks and decide whether to proceed.

Medical malpractice is sometimes considered a taboo topic that not everyone in the medical community feels comfortable acknowledging. The hesitance to be forthright about medical mistakes can make it more difficult when seeking compensation from injuries caused by negligence. This means that one may require an attorney when filing a claim. Malpractice might occur when injuries result after a doctor fails to offer the same standard of care that others in his or her position typically provide.