Every year in the United States 250,000 people die as the result of medical errors, which makes it the third leading cause of death in the country. According to Dr. Albert Wu of Johns Hopkins Hospital, “Mistakes are happening every day in every hospital in the country that we’re just not catching.”
Most medical mistakes can be avoided, and armed with these helpful strategies you can help keep loved ones safe from the most common medical errors:
- Treating the wrong patient – Ask hospital staff to verify your identifying information before any procedure.
- Medical equipment left inside the body – Inform medical professionals immediately if you experience swelling, fever, or unexpected pain after surgery.
- Inadequate Anesthesia – When scheduling surgery, ask the surgeon if local anesthesia is available instead of general anesthesia.
- Infections – Ask medical personnel to wash their hands before touching you even if they are wearing gloves.
- Excessive emergency room wait times –- Call your family physician on the way to the ER so they may call ahead and pass along important information.
- Similar looking tubes – Ask the medical staff to follow each tube to the point of origin to ensure medications are being administered properly.
- Operating on the incorrect body part – Confirm with the surgeon and attending nurses the correct side and body part are going to be operated on prior to the operation.
- Doctor Impersonators – Con artists posing as doctors can cause serious harm; confirm their credentials and license online.
- Missing or lost patients – Patients suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia may wonder off; have them wear a GPS tracking bracelet.
- Air bubbles in veins – If central line tubes aren’t removed properly air bubbles can develop in the blood; ask the technician how you should be positioned when the tube is removed
If you or a loved one has been harmed due to a medical professional or facility’s neglect, you may be able to be compensated for lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. Contact medical malpractice lawyers at Burnetti, P.A. today by calling 1-888-BURNETTI or filling out a free case evaluation form.