10 Ways to Protect Yourself Against Medical Errors and Mistakes
You trust your family doctor and other medical providers to take the appropriate steps to protect your health and safety. Unfortunately, medical mistakes on the part of physicians, pharmacists, surgeons, and hospital staff are all too common and can end up leaving you with serious and potentially life threatening conditions. To protect yourself against personal injuries resulting from medical malpractice, we have collected the following tips to help ensure you get the care and treatment you need.
Be Vigilant About Your Medical Care
According to a February 2018 CNBC News report, medical errors and mistakes are now the third leading cause of death in the United States. Cases involving medical malpractice claim the lives of as many as 400,000 people each year while causing serious and potentially debilitating injuries and illnesses for countless others. While most of us are conditioned to trust our doctor’s judgement, it is important to speak up if you think you have symptoms that are overlooked or if you suspect a mistake has been made.
RN Central offers a list of tips for everything from getting a new doctor to filling prescriptions and preparing for outpatient procedures. The following are among the steps they recommend patients take to protect themselves:
- Get involved in your care. Make sure your doctor has a complete health history, and be prompt and clear in reporting any symptoms you experience.
- Ask for clarification. When your doctor gives you instructions, make sure you understand what you are to do and why.
- Request results of testing. You deserve to have the results of tests explained in a way you can understand. If results are inconclusive, ask your doctor if there are any additional tests they recommend
- Disclose other medical providers. Make sure your doctor is aware of any specialists or other providers you are seeing and all medications you are prescribed.
- Keep an eye on prescriptions. Double check dosages and ask your pharmacist about potential side effects or other important information to be aware of.
- Make sure your medical chart is correct. If you undergo testing or a procedure, confirm your chart is correct first.
- Pay attention to your I.V. If you are given intravenous medication, make sure it is checked regularly to prevent the risk of infection.
- Keep a lid on germs. During a hospital stay, ask doctors, nurses, or visitors entering your room to wash and disinfect their hands. They should be doing this automatically.
- Check out the facility first. Use online services such as Medicare’s Hospital Compare, which provides hospital ranking and information on mistakes, staffing, and infection rates.
- Get a second opinion. Never hesitate to get a second opinion if you suspect an error has been made.
Let Us Help You Today
If you suspect a medical error or mistake, call or contact our Fort Pierce medical malpractice attorney right away. At the Law Firm of William E. Raikes III, we can advise you on the best course of action to get the compensation you need to recover.