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Medical errors are No. 3 cause of death in the U.S., after heart disease and cancer

Medical errors are No. 3 cause of death in the U.S., after heart disease and cancer

Heart disease, cancer ... and medical errors?

A new tally of mistakes made in American hospitals suggests that medical errors are the No. 3 cause of death in the U.S. At least 250,000 deaths each year can be attributed to medical care that has gone awry, according to a report published Tuesday in the British Medical Journal.

That means deadly mistakes are responsible for more fatalities than chronic respiratory disease, which currently ranks third on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's list of leading causes of death.

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