Based on an eight year study, patient safety experts at Johns Hopkins recently concluded this year that greater than 250,000 patients die in the United States each year due to medical errors. The numbers place deaths due to medical errors higher than respiratory disease, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention names as the third leading cause of death in the United States with close to 150,000 deaths annually.
Johns Hopkins further stated that procedures for noting cause of death on death certificates needs to be updated to more easily and accurately track deaths due to medical errors, which would better facilitate collection of national health statistics. The researchers examined four different studies that looked at the medical death rate data from the years 2000 to 2008. They then looked at hospital admission rates from 2013 and determined that based on a total of 35,416,020 hospitalizations, 251,454 deaths were caused by medical errors, translating to 9.5 percent of all deaths annually in the U.S.