Medical Mistakes: A Big Threat to Life

Each doctor will makes a promise to be careful and never cause any harm to his or her patient while doing his or her duties and responsibilities. Sad to say, a doctor, nurse, a doctor’s assistant, nursing home or hospital can still make medical mistakes that could have been done unintentionally.

According to the Institute of Medicine, they had a report showing that medical mistakes are commonly occurring and they pose risks that can put lives in danger. When medical errors were counted among the top causes of death of many Americans, it will rank 8th on the list. Surgical mistakes, like amputation of the wrong foot or arm, usually make headlines. On the other hand, people may never hear something about more subtle mistakes, such as a delay in diagnosis or misdiagnoses that costs valuable time which could have been better spent on fighting the disease or illness. Such forms of medical mistakes do actually occur, and (unfortunately) costs lives, as well.

Also, the extra fees generated from medical mistakes are the leading reasons why many people go into debt. Patients can request a transunion dispute to remove debts that were wrongfully charged to them or placed on their credit reports.

medical-error

According to a report, medical mistakes are a major problem; this quoted study has estimated a number ranging from 44,000 up to 98,000 (patients) in the US, who die each year because of surgical mistakes and/or treatment errors. To place that statistics in sharper focus: the low-end number of 44,000 deaths exceeds the number of those people who die every year in highway vehicular accidents, breast cancer and AIDS. Based on the record of the Institute of Medicine, the cause isn’t recklessness on the part of physicians and nurses, but rather the basic mistakes in the manner clinics, hospitals and pharmacies work.

Many doctors usually have poor handwriting that can lead to prescription mistakes. If the writing is not clear and understandable, the pharmacist will attempt to decipher the recommended dosage, but what about the name of medicine? Most of the time, a pharmacist find it hard to read said prescriptions properly – as there are too many medicine names that are extremely similar.

Medical mistakes have also led to many patients filing for bankruptcy, because the extra costs to resolving medical mistakes have become too insurmountable; any patient who finds themself in this predicament can submit an equifax dispute to find their way around this problem.

Safeguards were already implemented to lessen the likelihood of medical mistakes. There are many hospitals that make use of computerized prescription systems, with the attempt to make sure that the pharmacist does not misread scrawled prescriptions by doctors. The FDA (or the Food and Drug Administration) attempted to lessen confusion through making sure that the names of the newly developed drugs do not sound so similar to medicines that are already on the market.

That aside, more improvements are required. There has to be a complete and concerted effort to raise the standards on consumer safety (within the industry of health care). Insurance firms, as well as health maintenance companies, must also shoulder the burden of enhancing safety measures. And while human error is seemingly inescapable, it is still incumbent upon health professionals to do everything within their power to keep medical mishaps to an extreme minimum.

Since you are the patient, you have the motivation (and time) to double check your medications and diagnoses; try to know more about your condition and educate yourself further to double-check the diagnosis of your doctor; examine the possible treatments that you can try and then check your medications for any potential adverse effects. Apart from that, there are several other helpful things that you can do to help yourself avoid medical mistakes.

Tips to Avoid Medical Mistakes

  1. Know the names (generic and brand) and dosages of the medicines that you’re currently taking. Understand which illness, condition or symptom for which to take them.

  2. Make a list of medicines (and their correct dosages), over the counter medicines, supplements and herbs. Include any allergic reactions to medicines. Carry this list with you on your smartphone, some other electronic gadgets or just jot them down on a piece of paper.

  3. Bring your list of medicines to each appointment at a healthcare facility; make sure that they come with an updated list of recent medicines and any drug allergic reactions.

  4. Ask your doctor for the dosage and names of your medicines.

  5. Buy your medicines from just one pharmacy.

  6. Ask some questions (whether you think they are dumb, or not).

  7. Use a mail-order drug store and make sure to check your medicines upon delivery.

  8. When you are confined inside the hospital, you might be provided with new medicines that can be in different forms. They may come in various shapes and colors, as the pharmacy may make use of various of the medications.

  9. You should have an advocate. In case you face some difficulties managing your medicines, do not hesitate to ask one of the members of your family to help you in organizing them – so you can easily recognize the medications that you should take (as well as the time to take them).

So these are the most helpful things that you can do to make sure you will be safe and protected from medical mishaps (whether its self inflicted or not). It should also be noted that, in the end, when medical mistakes do occur, debt usually follows – and this leads to collection agencies knocking at your door. So, learn your rights and learn how to use an experian dispute request, to keep collection agencies at bay.