Every year, over 400,000 people die from mistakes made by healthcare staff. These deaths which are usually preventable, end up costing human lives and causing so much pain to both the victims before their death and their loved ones.
This is why you need to pay attention to all healthcare professionals when you’re in the hospital for your treatment or that of your loved ones. Doctors, nurses and other healthcare staff are human, which means they may unwittingly make mistakes at some point.
Whatever their reasons are, your vigilance might make all the difference in your life, your loved one’s life or that of another individual. Common errors and mistakes in the hospital can lead to severe injury, pain, infection and in extreme cases, death.
Some of the common mistakes that healthcare workers make in the hospital include wrong medication prescription or administration. For instance, if you give nitroglycerin to a man on Cialis, you’re essentially giving him a heart attack. It’s that simple.
If you give a woman a blood thinner instead of a blood clotting agent, best believe you’re sending her to an early grave.
Other major errors frequently made in hospitals include misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, anesthesia errors, surgical errors, missed signs of heart attacks, stroke or brain aneurisms, brachial plexus, and infections acquired during surgery.
This is why one cannot afford to be careless and lackadaisical when they’re in the hospital. If one or more of these can be prevented, you can save a life. So, what do you do when you spot these mistakes?
Speak Up Immediately
The first thing you want to do is speak up about it immediately to someone in healthcare who is closest to you. For most patients, this might be the nurse. If you have a doctor friend or someone knowledgeable to call, give them a call to explain what’s going on.
Sometimes, you don’t even have to go that far. If you cannot reach the nurse or anyone you’re familiar with, speak to any doctor or nurse nearby.
All doctors and healthcare professionals are there to help you and your loved ones. Drawing their attention to the problem can result in a quick and speedy resolution of the problem.
Waiting on someone you know when something is clearly wrong is not a smart move. Don’t do that. Nurses change shifts, so do doctors. So, the doctor or nurse you’re familiar with may not be available during that shift.
Be Assertive in Your Request for Help
Sometimes, being assertive can be the difference between permanent damage and fast recovery. It can also mean the difference between staying alive and being dead. Remember that being assertive isn’t the same as being aggressive.
For instance, if you see a nurse clearly administering the wrong meds intravenously to a patient that’s unconscious, the onus lies on you to say something about it immediately.
This way, you might actually end up saving a life. And if they have their reasons for administering the meds, you’ll at least know that they’re doing it intentionally; not because of a mistake.
And if that mistake results in an injury, harm, infection or death of you or a loved one, you know you have every evidence necessary to take to a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Brooklyn or lawyers near you.
As long as you’re sure of what you saw, say it and tell someone. For instance, if a patient was in coma, and they suddenly start responding to voices, you can and should notify any healthcare personnel that’s nearby.
It can be the difference between getting them out of that coma, and them being in a vegetative state for the rest of their lives.
Report to the Necessary Entity
If you or a loved one were the victim of that mistake, check for damages. Whether you have any or not, you should endeavor to talk to someone in authority about it. It could be the person in charge of the hospital board, another doctor or anyone who can actually do something about it.
If they’re uncooperative, and you feel you’re not being heard, or that the situation might repeat itself, you may want to talk to a competent legal representative who will notify them of your intent to sue.
Every healthcare facility owes its patients maximum safety, security and quality of care. If they’re incapable of delivering on that promise because of their shortcomings or failings, the onus lies on them to self-correct.
And if they’re not willing to fix their mistakes and errors, as well as put measures in place to prevent a recurrence, then you have to find a way to hold them responsible for falling short.