A new study found medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the U.S. just behind heart disease and cancer.

Doctors at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine released the study this week in the British Medical Journal. It calculated that more than 250,000 hospital patients die every year from medical care errors. Since the Centers for Disease Control does not classify medical errors separately on death certificates, one of the researchers said the numbers in the analysis are conservative.

The research shows 9.5 percent of all deaths in the U.S. stem from preventable complications inside hospitals.

“I think one of the big things they’re emphasizing is not to put it on a bad doctor plate and say bad doctors are causing all these medical errors,” said 9NEWS medical expert Dr. John Torres.

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