Medical error is third biggest cause of death

Medical error is the third leading cause of death in the US after heart disease and cancer, say academic surgeons who are calling for better reporting to help understand the scale of the problem.

Currently, death certification in the US (and in Australia) relies on assigning an International Classification of Disease (ICD) code to the cause of death – so those not associated with an ICD code, such as human and system factors, are not captured.

As a result,