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Chicago Personal Injury Blog

How to Avoid Medical Errors

by Jared Staver in Medical Malpractice

When you go through a medical procedure, whether it is a life-saving treatment or an elective surgery, the last thing you want to experience is a medical error. Small and significant medical mistakes can cause injuries and in some cases, even death. According to research performed at Johns Hopkins University, more than 250,000 deaths every year are due to medical errors in the U.S. If the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognized this figure, medical errors would be listed as the third leading cause of death in the nation, right behind cancer.

If you do end up being injured during a procedure or lose a loved one due to a medical provider’s mistake, contact our experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. today. We can help you pursue compensation for your losses. Call us today at (312) 236-2900 for a free consultation.

Get a Second Opinion When Possible

If you have been told you need a surgical procedure, you should always ask for a second opinion. Surgery should be taken seriously, even when a physician states it is a routine or minimally invasive procedure. Asking for a second opinion can provide you with more information, confirm that surgery is your best option, or offer you various treatment options.

This can be difficult when you are in a time crunch. For instance, you could be admitted to the ER and are told you need emergency surgery as soon as possible. However, you and your family should use whatever time you have to gather information about your condition, treatment options, and risks associated with the surgery. You can also ask for another surgeon at the facility to consult on your case.

Review the Treatment Protocol for Your Condition

Physicians follow rules when it comes to treating various conditions. Once you are diagnosed with a disease or injury, immediately ask for the treatment protocols for that diagnosis. You can also conduct your own research to determine treatment recommendations by relevant medical organizations. Learning as much as you can about your condition and how it should be treated is essential to making educated decisions about your care and avoiding potential medical mistakes.

Review Your Surgeon’s History

When you are preparing for a surgical procedure, get to know who will be in control of the situation and your health. While you can conduct a bit of your own research online, including looking up your physician’s disciplinary history, you can also ask the surgeon or their employer for additional information. Try and gather as much information as you can about how long the surgeon has been practicing and how many similar procedures they have successfully completed.

If you find your surgeon does not have ample experience, you should ask for a new surgeon. Surgeons are much more likely to make significant medical errors during their first few solo procedures. You greatly decrease the risk of a mistake by having a more experienced surgeon at the helm.

Learn About Your Medications

Common medical errors occur when your medication is incorrectly administered or a new medication interacts with one of your other prescriptions. While physicians and nurses are in charge of ensuring you receive the proper medications in the appropriate ways, you can help prevent medication-related mistakes. You should keep track of all of the medications you are on and their potential side effects. You should also speak with your physicians and pharmacist about potential interactions with these drugs.

When a physician or nurse approaches you with a drug, make sure to always ask what it is. If you do not recognize it, ask more questions. If you do recognize it, you should be able to confirm you are being given the correct amount.

Keep Detailed Records

Whenever you are dealing with a medical condition or injury, you should keep detailed records of your physician visits, hospitalizations, and all of the tests you go through. While medical facilities and offices should keep track of everything, it is common for records and results to be lost. You should ask questions, take detailed notes, and keep copies of everything.

Injured by a Medical Error? Contact Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. Today

If you experienced a medical mistake that led to an injury, contact our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. right away. We have years of experience helping patients recover compensation for injuries caused by preventable mistakes. We will hold your medical providers responsible for causing you harm rather than helping you.

For help with the insurance claims process or advice on filing a medical malpractice suit, contact us online or call (312) 236-2900 to schedule your free consultation.