Avoiding Medical Malpractice

CNN is out with a story about how to avoid medical mistakes. The story – which can be found by clicking here – highlights the story of a pregnant woman who is mistakenly given a CT scan of her abdomen, sites some startling statistics. For example, the Joint Commission, which grants accreditation to hospitals, reports that wrong-site, wrong-side, and wrong-patient procedures occurs more than 40 times every week in the United States.

In Rhode Island, state regulators ordered that video cameras be placed in all operating rooms after several medical errors, including an incident where doctors removed the tonsils of a child who was in the hospital for eye surgery. The hospital had at least six known surgical errors in the previous eight years.

Jim Conway from the Institute of Healthcare Improvements wants to empower patients to make sure they are not victims of medical malpractice. He is promoting a list of advice:

1. Say: “My name is ______________, my date of birth is _____________, and I’m here for an appendectomy.” You might feel like an idiot, says Conway, but say this to every doctor, nurse, and technician who takes care of you.

2. Say: “Please check my ID bracelet.” Hospital staff is supposed to confirm your identity in at least two ways.

3. Say: “Please look in my chart and tell me what procedure I’m having.” If the nurse gives you the right answer make sure she is looking at the chart.

4. Say: “I want to mark up my surgical site with the surgeon present.”

5. Be impolite. Make sure you the information you are given is exactly correct.

Source: CNN.com

Walton Law Firm represents personal injury victims throughout San Diego County and has recovered millions of dollars for individuals involved car accidents, pedestrian accidents, medical malpractice, motorcycle accidents, uninsured motorist claims, defective products, construction accidents, slip and fall injuries, dog bites, and insurance disputes. Call (760) 607-1325 for a free consultation.

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