Medical Mistakes in Hospitals: 3rd Leading Cause of Death in America

Vermont's Bernie Sanders Calls Out Health Industry on Preventable Medical Errors

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) testified before a U.S. Senate Panel on the alarming number of deaths caused by medical mistakes in this country. Preventable medical errors in hospitals is the third leading cause of death in the United States according to recent research. Only heart disease and cancer kill more Americans.

“Medical harm is a major cause of suffering, disability, and death — as well as a huge financial cost to our nation,” Sanders said at the outset of the hearing by the Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging. “This is a problem that has not received anywhere near the attention that it deserves and today I hope that we can focus a spotlight on this matter of such grave consequence,” added Sanders, the panel’s chairman.

The Journal of Patient Safety recently published a study which concluded that as many as 440,000 people die each year from preventable medical errors in hospitals. Tens of thousands also die from preventable mistakes outside hospitals, such as deaths from missed diagnoses or because of injuries from medications.

Watch highlights of the hearing below.

View the full subcommitte hearing here.