In the imperfect world we live in, mistakes are likely to be made at some point. Though everyone should know how to perform their jobs properly, humans are not perfect – even medical doctors. Medical errors can occur in any of kind of health care setting such as hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, or pharmacies. They can also involve things like medicines, equipment, surgery, or diagnosis.
With so many different branches, there is much room for error. What’s worse is that errors in the medical field can be fatal. Medical malpractice cases surface when a patient is harmed during their care from a doctor or nurse or if improper treatment is given. As a patient, you want to put trust in your doctor, but it’s also important that you do all you’re able to do in order to help prevent any kind of mistakes from being made. According to Delayed Medical Diagnoses, Catastrophic and Fatal Injury Attorneys, Powers & Santola, any delay in health care when it’s needed can worsen a medical condition or even lead to death. In what situations can medical malpractice often be found, and what can you – as a patient – do to avoid it?
Where Is It Often Seen?
In prescribing medication to patients, errors can occur in more ways than one. If there is a misdiagnosis, it’s possible that a doctor can prescribe a medicine that is completely different to what it is the patient actually needs. A doctor can simply prescribe the wrong medication altogether, or medications can get mixed up among patients in a hospital setting. Most commonly, a patient could get prescribed the wrong dosage – whether it’s too little or too much.
If a doctor is negligent during an operation, he or she could accidently puncture an organ, leave an instrument inside the body or even operate on the wrong area. Negligence can occur after an operation as well, which could lead to infection.
Failure to diagnose a medical condition of the mother or a disease that could be contagious to the mother’s fetus can happen when prenatal care is lacking. During childbirth, there can be failure to recognize potential complications due to the size of the baby or a tangle umbilical cord, or possibly a failure to recognize when a cesarean section may be needed.
Mistakes made by anesthesiologists can be even more life threatening than a surgical error. The improper amount of anesthesia can lead to permanent brain damage or even death. This can result from lack of research into a patient’s medical history or failure to check their vital signs before surgery.
What Are Some Tips to Prevent It?
Make sure your doctor knows which medicines you take.
Give your doctor all the information you can. If he or she is aware of what you’re already taking, they can better prescribe other necessary medications. This includes everything from vitamins to herbs.
Make sure your doctor knows about your allergies.
If you’ve had any kind of adverse reactions to medications, make sure you’re doctor is aware. In doing so, you help him or her avoid any medications that could harm you.
Ask about the medication your doctor prescribes.
Be sure that you can read what the prescription says. Ask both your doctor and your pharmacist about possible side effects. The more information you can get about the medicine – in terms you’ll understand – the better off you’ll be.
Come to an agreement with your doctor and surgeon.
It might sound obvious, but if you’re having surgery it’s so important to make sure you, your doctor and your surgeon all agree on what will be done.
Bring someone with you.
When you go to doctor’s appointments or into surgery, bring a family member or friend. Not only can this be comforting, but it will also provide a second set of ears. They may think of an important question that you might have forgotten or overlooked.