A study was done in 2004 that discovered that nearly 200,000 people died each year in the US due to preventable medical errors. This figure does not take into account those who were merely injured (either temporarily or permanent) due to medical errors. There is a more recent study that does take this into account reports that this figure may be more staggering than previously believed.
The new study concludes that only 14% of medical errors are even reported. One in 4 patients are injured in some way, and the injury or error is not reported. The fact that "no one is perfect" is little help to the families and loved ones of those injured and affected. It could also be seen as fact, that if these instances were reported, then hospitals and doctors could learn from their mistakes, and not repeat them in the future.
Our team ofmedical malpractice lawyers has compiled some tips on how to protect you from medical malpractice and error.
- You spend the time shopping around for cars, or choosing a good restaurant based on reviews, so why not do the same for your health? HealthGrades.com rates hospitals based on hospital complication rates on 27 common procedures.
- While you are in the hospital, make sure you keep a close eye on the hygiene and cleanliness of those you entrust the healthcare of yourself or your loved ones to. The simplest thing you can do is demand and ensure that the staff wash their hands. This simple procedure is only done 20-30% of the time.
- Ask questions. Understand what is wrong with you, and what it will take to fix it. If your doctor seems annoyed or upset that you are showing such an interest, perhaps it is time to find a new doctor.
- Pay attention to your prescriptions. Do not just rely on a pharmacist to interpret the prescription. Make sure you know what you are getting, and what dose you are supposed to take, and then make sure your bottle says exactly that.
Some patients may feel awkward in being so forward in their own care, but at The Snyder Litigation Team, our Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers urge you to consider that it is better to be pushy and forward than to be a victim of a medical mistake.