“Medical Errors Are Third Leading Cause of Death in the US.” So reported US News & World Report—and countless other media outlets—in May after the publication of a new analysis from researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (http://bit.ly/1WPkRF4; Makary MA and Daniel M. BMJ. 2016;353:i2139). The study grabbed headlines by claiming that medical error is the third most common cause of death in the United States, which could appear right below heart disease and cancer and above chronic lower respiratory disease on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) list of leading causes of death (http://1.usa.gov/2486H1i).
Abbasi J. Headline-Grabbing Study Brings Attention Back to Medical Errors. JAMA. 2016;316(7):698-700. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.8073