Acting As Your Own Patient Advocate Reduces Medical Malpractice Risks
Visiting the doctor’s office is something many people dread, particularly with COVID-19 cases on the increase. While the pandemic continues to be a major concern for patients, there are other dangers you need to be aware of. Medical malpractice claims have become increasingly common and can have major impacts on your health. When attending an appointment or undergoing testing and procedures at hospitals or outpatient clinics, it is important to act as your own patient advocate to prevent serious and potentially life-threatening personal injuries.
Common Types of Medical Mistakes
Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor, nurse, diagnostics technician, or other health care professional makes a mistake or error that has the potential to adversely impact your health. Sadly, medical malpractice is a leading cause of death and disability, impacting millions of people each year. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), common types of medical errors include:
- Adverse drug events: These can happen when medical providers make a mistake in regards to medication dosages or when they fail to factor in patient allergies and other drugs they may be currently taking.
- Delayed diagnosis: This is when a medical provider fails to accurately assess symptoms and order the necessary testing. Dangerous delays in treatment occur as a result.
- Infections: Health-care associated infections are common and hard to treat. They generally occur due to sloppy sanitation practices in hospitals, medical offices, and outpatient clinics.
- Misdiagnosis: This is when a doctor mistakenly diagnoses a patient, attributing symptoms to other conditions. Similar to delayed diagnosis, it keeps patients from receiving the potentially life-saving treatment they need.
- Surgical errors: Surgical mistakes can happen due to machine malfunctions and when surgeons and other support staff are not vigilant in following standard patient safety procedures.
Protecting Yourself Against Medical Malpractice
Psychology Today emphasizes how important it is today for patients to act as their own advocate when visiting their doctor, whether for a routine check-up, to report troubling symptoms, or for treatment of a potentially serious condition. Particularly now, with concerns over COVID-19 dominating the healthcare industry, you need to speak up to ensure you get the medical attention you need. The following are ways to protect yourself and your health when visiting the doctor:
- Jot down a complete list of symptoms you suffer before your visit.
- Make another list of all medications you are taking.
- At your appointment, remind your doctor of any chronic conditions you suffer from and other medical providers you may be seeing.
- Ask about any diagnostic testing that either is or is not being performed.
- Ask to see the results of testing and any blood work done.
- Get a second opinion if you have any doubts about a diagnosis.
- Carefully review instructions for all medications you are taking.
Contact Us Today for Professional Help
Medical mistakes and errors can result in serious personal injuries, impacting you for years into the future. At Bundza & Rodriguez, P.A., we help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact our Daytona Beach medical malpractice attorneys and request a consultation today.