A surgeon from one of the leading research university hospitals has presented data that lists medical mistakes as the third largest cause of death in this country. He reports that hospital errors and other medical blunders in Illinois and throughout the nation have caused the deaths of 250,000 annually. The surgeon has petitioned the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to add medical errors to the leading causes of death list. However, the CDC contends that these types of errors are not consistently named on death certificates.
Another board-certified doctor has written a book on malpractice issues and the ways patients are at risk in the health care system. He cites several common errors that patients experience when they have a hospital stay. One error that occurs frequently is having a foreign object remain in a patient's body following a surgical procedure. Items often left inside someone's body include surgical sponges, scissors, clamps and needles. This most often occurs during abdominal surgeries.