How to Prevent Four Medical Errors That Can Cause Serious Injuries or Death
Hospitals are supposed to be some of the safest places we can go – they are where we go to be treated when we are sick or injured. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. According to The Leapfrog Group, an independent hospital safety organization, as many as 440,000 people die annually as a result of hospital errors, accidents, injuries, and infections. This makes medical errors the third leading cause of death for Americans, right behind heart disease and cancer. Fortunately, many medical errors are preventable. Here are four medical mistakes and what you can do to minimize the chance that they happen to you:
- Medication Mix-Ups: There are a lot of moving parts in hospitals and multiple ways a medication mix-up can occur. Getting the wrong medication or the wrong dose of a medication can cause you more problems and can even be deadly. Before you take your medication, you should verify that the nurse gave you the correct medication and the correct dosage.
- Infections: This is one of the most infamous causes of death in hospitals. With so many people touching you and so many objects being inserted into you, it is easy to pick up an infection while in the hospital. To try to lessen your risk of catching an infection, remind your health care professionals to wash their hands before they touch you.
- Falls: Though this may not seem like a medical mistake, hospital staff are responsible for protecting you from falling. It is important to tell nurses, physicians, pharmacists, and patient aids about your fall risk before you start moving. They might give you a cane or a walker to help stabilize you. Also, you should ask for help before you get out of bed or try walking.
- Being Discharged Too Soon: Leaving the hospital prematurely is also a culprit of injuries, accidents, and infections. You may suffer if your health professional discharges you before you are actually ready to go home. Before you leave the hospital, make sure you and your companion both understand all of the discharge instructions, medication instructions and care instructions that are given to you. If you are unsure of something, ask questions.
Medical errors have quickly become a top cause of death in the U.S., which is problematic and disturbing for many reasons. You should be able to trust and rely on your physician and health care team to heal you – not worry that they will harm you. If you think you may have been a victim of a medical error or medical malpractice, you should immediately contact a skilled Orland Park medical malpractice lawyer today. At the Law Office of John S. Fotopoulos, P.C., we can help you recover any damages that you may be entitled to. Call our office today at 708-942-8400 to schedule a free consultation.