Our healthcare professionals are not infallible. Medical errors are a nightmare that, unfortunately, millions of people face each year. According to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, more than 238,000 hospital deaths among Medicare patients between the years 2004 and 2006 were a result of medical errors and could have been prevented.
Some mistakes happen more frequently than others. Here is a list of some of the most common medical errors that occur as well as some tips on how to avoid them.
1.Medication Errors: This common error tops the list and encompasses a wide range of mistakes. Errors can include wrong dosage, wrong prescription, wrong instructions, or a lack of clear communication. Clear communication is crucial, especially if you are taking several medications that may interact with another prescription, or have allergies. The best way to avoid this error is to always know what you are taking, how much, and what you should not take. If you are not sure, bring your medications with you to your doctor or hospital.
2.Infections: Hospitals seem like a sterile environment, but they are actually a place where one has a high probability of acquiring an infection. Think about it – a high volume of patients with illnesses walk through the doors of a hospital every day, and even workers can become contaminated. Couple that with the fact that you may enter the hospital with a weakened immune system due to your own ailments and it becomes possible for you to contract an infection. Did your doctor wash their hands before visiting you? You can ask. Also, be sure to wash your own hands regularly while staying at a hospital.
3.Surgical Errors: This includes wrong site surgeries, wrong procedure, and wrong surgery done to the wrong patient. This error is also known as a “never event”, for being such an egregious and inexcusable accident. Speak to your surgeon about the procedure you are about to undergo, why you are having it, and what they will be doing.
4.Birth Injuries: This is an important milestone and you do not want to risk medical errors during a time that should be joyous. Do research on the facility where you would like to have your baby. This includes checking the incidence of birth injury and, if possible, reading any available reviews given by mothers who have given birth there.
These are just some of the common medical errors many people face every day while in the care of medical professionals. Another tip that will be helpful in avoiding these and other mistakes is to bring family with you. If you are ill or otherwise in a state where you may not be able to ask questions or retain information regarding your treatment, having a trusted and informed family member by your side can help, and who will stand up for you and help make sure you are getting the attention you need.
The Springfield medical malpractice attorneys at Strong-Garner-Bauer P.C. have been advocating for the rights of wrongfully injured patients since 1976. Our skilled team of trial lawyers has won well over $7 billion on behalf of our clients and are backed by a combined 140 years of trial practice experience.
Call us today for a free initial case evaluation at 417-855-2022.