The hospital is supposed to be a place of healing and recovery, not of injury and death. However, the unfortunate reality is that medical errors cause more suffering than most would believe. According to a recent study, between 210,000 and 440,000 patients each year suffer some type of preventable harm that eventually leads to their fatality. If these numbers bode true, then this would make medical errors the third-leading cause of death in the United States.
Whether you’re in a hospital, clinic, surgery center, nursing home, pharmacy, or other medical facility, you can prevent a tragedy by following certain safety tips on how to prevent medical errors. To ensure that you receive safer care, you should:
- Make sure your doctor gives you the right prescription and the pharmacy gives you the right medicine. The doctor should know about any allergies you have and medicines or supplements you take on a daily basis. Also, don’t hesitate to ask questions.
- If you are undergoing surgery, make sure that you, your physician, and your surgeon are all in accordance with one another. And if you have a choice, pick a facility that specializes in the procedure you will undergo.
- While staying at a hospital, ask the staff whether they have washed their hands and whether the equipment and general conditions of the facility are sanitized. Furthermore, when you are discharged, feel free to ask the doctor about treatment plans you should follow at home.
- More is not always better. Not every test, treatment, or medication may be necessary. It is generally a good idea to ask your physician why a procedure or prescription is needed and how it can contribute towards your health.
- Ask a friend or family member to go with you. S/he can look out for your best interests and spot possible signs of error or potential of error that you may miss. Plus, it’s good to have emotional support at such a trying time.
If you have sustained considerable damages due to a medical error, please contact the compassionate Los Angeles medical malpractice attorneys at Kahn Roven for immediate legal assistance. You may be entitled to compensation for all related damages.