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In the hospital? Take steps to protect yourself from mistakes

Hospitals are incredibly busy places, and mistakes happen all the time. Nurses, doctors and aides are often overloaded with too many patients to handle, so you simply can’t assume that everyone who walks into your room understands your medical condition or why you are being treated.

You need to take steps to protect yourself from medical errors whenever you’re in a hospital, whether you’re there for surgery, testing, or some other condition.

1. Bring someone with you.

No matter why you’re in a hospital, you’re probably not at your best. Make sure that someone else is there to act as your advocate.

2. Insist on sanitary care.

Everyone who touches you should sanitize their hands first. Hospital-acquired infections are a major source of medical issues for patients. They can largely be prevented if everyone on staff remembers to wash their hands between patients. Even though doctors and nurses know this, they can still get lax about the process when they are rushed. Don’t hesitate to remind someone if necessary.

3. Bring all your medications with you.

Having your medication bottles with you makes it much easier to make certain that the intake nurse correctly documents your prescriptions. Be prepared to tell the nurse exactly why you take them. In addition, you should carry a list of any medications that have given you an allergic reaction in the past.

4. Don’t accept any medication without checking.

There are two things you want to check before you accept any type of medication, whether it’s a shot in an IV or a pill being handed to you by a nurse.

First, make sure the drug is meant for you. Medication errors happen very easily when nurses are handling a lot of patients. The nurse should verify your name and birth date before giving you any drug.

Second, make sure that the medication is what you expect it to be. Ask what you are being given and why. Ask what effects you should feel from the drug. That way, you know if something is wrong.

Despite your best efforts, you may still end up a victim of medical malpractice. If you’re seriously injured, a claim for compensation can help you financially while you recover. Visit our blog and website to learn more about medical malpractice claims in Kentucky.

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