Medication Errors - How They Happen and How To Avoid Them
Medication errors - 80% of US adults use some form of over the counter medication, prescription medications, or dietary supplements in any given week. It is estimated that medication errors injure a million and a half people a year. The causes range from improper prescriptions, to sloppy handwriting, to confusion over similar drug names. It is therefore recommended that a patient keep a complete list of all medications, vitamins and over the counter medications that they take along with the dosages.
Poor Communications With Your Doctor and How To Improve That Situation
Poor communication between doctor and patient is another cause of medical errors. Ask questions, have all tests and diagnostics explained to you. Question your doctor as to any issues which you don't understand or disagree over. Ask what else can be done, what other tests can be ordered and inquire about alternative forms of treatment or therapy. A good practice is to keep a complete medical file on you and all of your family members. Hospital errors including bed sores, falls, infections and failure to respond to patients in distress are common forms of hospital negligence. It is important that each patient have a family member or a friend act as a health advocate to monitor and follow up on the patient's care.
Surgical Errors and Health Care Advocates
Surgical mistakes account for thousands of injured patients every year. These include surgery being performed on the wrong patient or wrong sided surgery. Make sure to discuss the procedure in detail with your surgeon and have the surgical site marked with a permanent marker. If patients, their family members and health care advocates took on an active role in their medical care then many medical errors could be avoided. If you feel you may be the victim of medical negligence then you should consult with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.