Common Medical Mistakes

Common Medical Mistakes

A hospital, with its highly trained staff of doctors, nurses and therapists, ought to be one of the safest places on Earth. But statistics indicate otherwise. A report from the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine indicates that between 44,000 to 98,000 Americans die each year from preventable medical errors that happen in hospitals. Before you receive any sort of treatment or check into a hospital for surgery, there are certain things you can do to keep yourself from becoming part of these alarming statistics. Some simple steps to protect yourself include:

  • Be an active member of your health care team and take part in every decision about your health care.
  • Make sure that your doctors know every medication that you are taking. This includes prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements such as vitamins or herbs.
  • Watch out for drugs with similar names and then ask what you are receiving before you take it. For example, celexa and celebrex are often mixed up, but they serve two very different purposes.
  • Speak up if you have questions or concerns. Ask until you receive an answer that makes sense to YOU.
  • Educate yourself about your diagnosis, medical tests you are undergoing and your treatment plan.
  • Ask a trusted family member or friend to be your advocate.
  • Ask all members of the hospital staff to wash their hands before touching you.
  • It may seem awkward, but it goes a long way toward preventing infection.
  • Ask doctors how many times they have performed your surgery and what their success and mortality rates are.
  • Check the malpractice record of all doctors before any operation.
  • Before you enter an operating room, discuss with your surgeon the steps being taken to identify the right surgery site.
  • Ask to have the site marked with a permanent marker in order to prevent wrong-site surgery.
  • Make sure you get results of all tests and procedures.
  • Ask the doctor or nurse when and how you will get test results.
  • Do not sign a hospital form unless you fully understand everything it contains.

Do you believe you're suffering from a medical mistake, error, accident or negligence? Contact the Rasansky Law Firm online, or call 1-877-659-1620 to discuss your private situation with our medical malpractice attorneys.


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