An error-control management (management of technical errors) is well established, tested and approved in sectors of high risk, such as aviation and nuclear industry. Although medical science likewise represents a sector of high risk, a similar region-wide control management is still missing. The reasons are multifaceted: by implementation of an error-control management, the negotiation of psychological obstacles and the investment of financial resources have to be faced. The profit from overcoming these obstacles is gained only in the long term. The intention of this survey is to give an overview of the current state of knowledge of errors in medical science as well as to give an introduction (adoption) of the basic principles of systemic error description, detection and prevention by evaluating the available studies.