Most people assume that diseases are the top 20 causes of death in America. Sadly – there is another big contributor.
In the JOURNAL of the AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (JAMA: Vol 284, No 4), an article written by Dr Barbara Starfield, MD, MPH, of the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, showed that medical errors and medical malpractice may be the third leading cause of death in the United States.
The third leading cause….
Medical errors, including medical malpractice are common in Connecticut – and the mistakes made change people’s lives irrevocably.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services makes several suggestions to help you avoid medical malpractice and medical errors. In this blog post we will focus on precautions to take if you are having a surgical procedure and other important steps which can help prevent medical malpractice.
- If you are having surgery, make sure that you, your doctor, and your surgeon all agree on exactly what will be done. Having surgery at the wrong site (for example, operating on the left knee instead of the right) is rare. But even once is too often. The good news is that wrong-site surgery is 100 percent preventable. Surgeons are expected to sign their initials directly on the site to be operated on before the surgery.
- If you have a choice, choose a hospital where many patients have had the procedure or surgery you need. Research shows that patients tend to have better results when they are treated in hospitals that have a great deal of experience with their condition.
- Speak up if you have questions or concerns. You have a right to question anyone who is involved with your care.
- Make sure that someone, such as your primary care doctor, coordinates your care. This is especially important if you have many health problems or are in the hospital.
- Make sure that all your doctors have your important health information. Do not assume that everyone has all the information they need.
- Ask a family member or friend to go to appointments with you. Even if you do not need help now, you might need it later.
- Know that “more” is not always better. It is a good idea to find out why a test or treatment is needed and how it can help you. You could be better off without it.
- If you have a test, do not assume that no news is good news. Ask how and when you will get the results.
- Learn about your condition and treatments by asking your doctor and nurse and by using other reliable sources. For example, treatment options based on the latest scientific evidence are available from the Effective Health Care Web site. Ask your doctor if your treatment is based on the latest evidence.
If you are ever the victim of medical malpractice call a qualified Connecticut medical malpractice lawyer. A knowledgeable medical malpractice lawyer can help to ensure that your rights are protected.
What’s more, all of our lawyers have been honored by inclusion in the 2012 New England Super Lawyers and Rising Stars… and the Hartford law firm of RisCassi & Davis is “Top Listed” in the 2012 edition of The Best Lawyers in America® with the most listed attorneys representing injury victims in personal injury law in Hartford. The firm is also ranked a Tier 1 law firm in Hartford in Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms.” Click here to learn more about the honors and recognition we have received.