Tips To Avoid Preventable Medical Errors

Tips To Avoid Preventable Medical Errors

Preventable medical errors continue to be a problem affecting many patients across the country. In fact, statistics show that hospital errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. More than 200,000 Americans die each year from preventable errors, with many more suffering serious personal injuries. This includes infants suffering birth injuries as the result of physicians and other hospital staff making preventable medical mistakes during the labor and delivery process.

Although it may be impossible for a patient to protect themselves from a medical professional's negligence, a few basic tips can provide some help.

#1 – A critical area where several mistakes occur is in the dispensing of medicine and prescription errors. One tip is to always ask about your dosage – i.e. what you're taking, how much and how often. That serves as a reminder about the appropriate amounts and when hospital staff administers drugs you will be armed with knowledge to make sure it's the right medication and dosage.

#2 – Another situation that causes significant harm are hospital acquired infections. Patients can help protect themselves from these illnesses by reminding their doctor and other staff treating them to wash their hands.

#3 – A third area of concern are infections that arise from central lines. Sometimes doctors and other staff forget that these lines are in – leaving them in too long can increase the risk of infection. Asking your health care team how long the line will be in or if you still need it serves as a gentle reminder to monitor the lines.

However, ultimately it is the health care professional's duty to provide proper care. The failure to do so may constitute medical malpractice. If you have questions or believe that you or a loved one may have injured by a preventable medical mistake, please contact the dedicated San Diego personal injury lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.

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