Medical Errors are the Third Leading Cause of Death in the U.S.

Medical errors are now considered the third leading cause of death in the U.S. When a medical error occurs, typically it is the result of some form of medical malpractice by a doctor, nurse, or another health professional acting in a negligent way that led to the death of the patient. The following are some of the most common types of medical errors by medical professionals that result in death.


The misdiagnosis of patients is one of the most common reasons for death due to medical error. When a patient receives a misdiagnosis, this inherently leads to incorrect medications being prescribed, incorrect therapies or surgeries, or the absence of the correct medical treatments. Delays in providing the correct diagnoses for patients directly result in the loss of valuable time to treat what may be a life-threatening condition. In order to prove that misdiagnosis caused a patient’s death, the victim’s family in a wrongful death suit must prove that another doctor or medical professional acting in a reasonable manner according to established medical standards, would have been able to correctly diagnose the patient, thus preventing their death.

Birth Injuries and Deaths

Unfortunately, many mothers and newborns die every year due to medical errors in the birth and delivery process. Even if death does not occur, birth injuries to children can be devastating and include brain damage, broken bones, nerve damage, Erb’s Palsy, Cerebral Palsy, Klumpke’s Palsy and seizure disorders. While babies are born every day, if a doctor or medical professional fails to act in a prudent manner under established medical standards during a delivery, death to the mother or child may result.

Prescription Medication Errors

Medication-related errors affect more than one million people in the U.S. each year. These errors can be the result of the doctor incorrectly prescribing a medication, or simply prescribing the wrong medication altogether. They can also occur when the hospital staff incorrectly administers the medication prescribed by a doctor or attending physician. As previously mentioned, in cases of misdiagnosis, prescription medication errors are common, as doctors prescribe medication for a condition that the patient does not have. If an incorrect medication is prescribed, or an incorrect dosage is given of a correct medication, a patient can suffer irreparable harm, including severe injuries or death.

Surgical Errors

Surgery is an inherently risky procedure, which is why medical professionals should take additional care and caution during surgery to ensure that medical errors do not occur. Unfortunately, medical errors in surgeries are common in the U.S., and they account for one-third of all medical malpractice claims. In these cases, the doctors, nurses, hospital staff, and hospitals themselves can all be held responsible and liable for a patient’s death.

Contact an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney

If your loved one died due to a medical error, you may have a case for wrongful death. While you may not want to consider filing a lawsuit, you are likely facing astronomical medical bills, funeral costs, and other unexpected expenses. Contact The Law Office of Daniel H. Rose. We will work on your behalf to ensure that you understand your legal rights. Contact our experienced attorneys at 415-946-8900 or online today.

Posted in General
February 22nd, 2020 by Daniel Rose