A new study analyzed insurance claims from the past several years and noted that in 2008 alone, there were more than 1.5 million medical errors reported which accounted for over $19.5 billion. That averages out to roughly $13,000 per error.

The report states that medical errors led to more than 2,500 otherwise avoidable deaths and more than 10 million missed workdays. Five common medical errors accounted for 55% of the total amount of medical error costs in 2008:

  • Pressure ulcers – $3.86 billion ($10,288 total cost per error)
  • Postoperative infections – $3.66 billion ($14,548 per error)
  • Mechanical complications of devices, implants, or grafts – $1.13 billion ($18,771 per error)
  • Postlaminectomy syndrome – $1.12 billion ($9,863 per error)
  • Hemorrhages complicating a procedure – $960 million (12,272 per error)

Some of the other top ten medical errors include: infection following infusion, injection, transfusion, or vaccination; pneumothorax; infection due to central venous catheter; other complications of internal (biological) (synthetic) prosthetic device, implant, and graft; and ventral hernia without mention of obstruction or gangrene.