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Don't Be In The Dark About Our Legal System

Hello, I'm Karla Mitchell. Going through a legal case can be very expensive and challenging. I won't go into details, but I recently underwent my own legal battle that lasted several years. It is finally over and I successfully received a settlement, but I had to spend so much time studying law in order to play my role in my own court case. While I found a great attorney at one point, I felt completely lost initially and I don't want anyone else to experience the same thing. So I decided to create this blog for those who would like to know more about law.


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Don't Be In The Dark About Our Legal System

3 Tips For Protecting Yourself From Harmful Mistakes During Your Hospital Stay

by Andrew Martin

As if being in the hospital is not scary enough, you may also be afraid of what could happen to you while you are in there because of errors by direct care staff members, such as doctors, nurses, or aides. If so, you can take some control over your safety by using the tips below for protecting yourself from personal injury during your hospital stay.

Make Sure Hospital Staff Have The Right Patient

Every time you interact with any hospital staff taking involved in your direct care, make sure they always confirm who you are. Even if you have had the same doctor, nurse, or aide during your visit, this is a vital step in ensuring you are receiving the safest care. 

This step is not necessarily required to know your identity, but it serves as a reminder of what medications or treatments you are supposed to have. Hospital staff can become busy and forget which patient is supposed to receive what care.

For example, if your nurse comes into your room with a surgical razor for shaving a procedural area, but you do not have anything scheduled, show them your armband. Ask them to confirm your identity. This alone may jog their memory and make them realize they have the wrong patient. If not, always ask them to double check your orders to avoid confusion.

Double Check Any Medication Administered To You

With hospital medication errors being the third leading cause of death in the United States, taking responsibility for knowing what you are being given is extremely important for your own personal safety. There are several ways you can help prevent injury from being given the wrong medicine

When your doctor comes in to see you for the first time, ask them to review your medications with you. Write down the names every drug you are prescribed, as well as the doses and times they are supposed to be given to you. Discuss with them any drug allergies to make sure you have not been ordered anything that could be related to them.

On each visit after the initial one, ask your doctor if any medications have been changed or discontinued. Also, ask them if any have been added.

Once you know all of your medicines, you can ask about them every time the nurse comes to give them to you. Ask them which pill is which so you know them by sight. This way, you know if something looks different and can ask about it. While it could be another brand, it does not hurt to question any strange-looking pills that may have been accidentally given to you.

Insist On Marking Your Own Surgical Or Procedural Site

Because surgical suites and procedure rooms can become hectic, many hospitals have policies in place to help reduce the number of errors on patients. This includes physically marking a surgical or procedural site with a permanent marker before being prepped.

If this is the policy at your hospital, insist on marking the site yourself before you leave your hospital room. Do this while the nurse is discussing the procedure and obtaining your consent.

Although you may have an idea of where you need to mark, the nurse can instruct you on the exact location. This conversation also helps reaffirm to both you and the hospital staff the correct site and procedure, as well as confirm it is being performed on the right patient.

Even after taking measures to protect yourself from hospital errors, you could still find yourself adversely affected by a hospital staff member's mistake. If so, you may want more information and to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your options for compensation.