One Johns Hopkins University study found that over 250,000 people in the United States die annually due to negligence and other medical errors. Medical mistakes can happen, but they can also be deadly. As a patient navigating the healthcare system, it’s important to know how to protect yourself from medical mistakes.
Bring Someone With You
One of the best ways to protect yourself from medical mistakes is to bring a friend, family member, or partner with you to your important medical appointments. Sometimes, when you are getting challenging news about your health, it’s easy to misunderstand something a doctor tells you or miss other important information. Having someone there for you will help you ensure that you know exactly what the doctor said and provide you with a witness in the event that something untoward happens.
It’s a good idea to keep notes of any medical events, including doctor’s appointments. Having your own records, along with dates and times, is not just important to protect yourself from medical mistakes; it can also be important if your insurance company rejects a claim and needs additional information.
Bring Your Medication List
Another one of the easiest ways to protect yourself from medical mistakes is ensuring that all of your doctors and healthcare specialists have equal access to information. Medication conflicts are very common, and they can be deadly. Never assume that any medical professional has access to your complete health history or medical record, especially if you have prescriptions from multiple providers. Bring a complete list of current supplements, vitamins, and medications with you to every appointment, even if you think it won’t matter. Additionally, make sure that you inform any healthcare professional treating you of any and all allergies that you have.
Advocate for Yourself
In a medical environment, it can be stressful to understand what is going on fully—especially when time is of the essence. That makes it even more important to advocate for yourself. If you don’t understand something that is said to you, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. If you get a prescription from the pharmacy and the pills are a different shape or color than they normally are, ask the pharmacist to confirm what they are. It is always better to waste a minute of time instead of experiencing a potentially fatal error.
Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Help With Your Medical Malpractice Case
When you think that you have been the victim of a medical malpractice incident and you aren’t sure where to turn, you need the right legal assistance. Our experienced legal team is looking forward to working with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398.