THIRD LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH IN THE UNITED STATES
There is ongoing research into the causes of death for the purposes of rating for insurance purposes and determine the costs of health insurance. It is expected that the traditional causes of death, heart disease and malignancies would lead that list. It is expected that Medical Errors will be the third.
Medical Errors can be prevented.
If the family is involved and asks questions:
As much as possible family members should accompany patient to medical visits and to the hospital. The staff will know of the family’s involvement and while it should not make a difference the fact of a relative or friends presence does influence actions. Don’t be reluctant to ask questions even if you are not sure what should be done.
If the family is involved and demands answers:
Demand answers and explanations. The medical staff is busy and there are many patients to be cared for but demanding answers to questions is not inappropriate. An answer may not be immediately available but should not be delayed for an unreasonable length of time.
If medications are checked:
When medications are delivered in the hospital there is no harm checking that the right medications are being delivered, and the right medications are being given to the correct patient.
The presence of a family member of a friend in the office, in the hospital is always a good thing.
If a Medical Error is suspected:
The first thing to do is get answers to what occurred. Most often when an error is made the physician disappears, being afraid to discuss matters with the family.
Make sure that the patient is getting the care that is needed and recovery is proceeding.
Don’t hesitate to ask for a second opinion or even demand that the patient be transferred to a different institution.
Finally. If you do not like the answers and the situation is not good, call us.