Medical Errors Worth Avoiding

Medical Errors

Medical Errors are the preventable adverse effect of care. Whether or not it is evident or harmful to the patient. 

It may be as a result of an inaccurate or incomplete diagnosis or treatment. From a diagnosed disease, injury, syndrome, behavior, infection, or other ailments.

Medical mistakes are the stuff of those nightmares. Including, operating the wrong limb, treating the wrong patient, bad drug reactions or even instruments left behind. However, in reality, they are all too often and unfortunate.

Medical errors
Some medical errors may be as a result of personal mistake or a health practitioner.

Botched by Reality Television Series

Although this may be true, Botched (TV Series) showcases medical tragedies and struggles. Botched, American based reality Television Series premiered on E! News on June 24, 2014.

In regards, Botched Series follows doctors Terry Durbrow and Paul Nassif as they “remedy extreme plastic surgeries gone vague.” You can catch up with the Botched Reality TV Show Stars Here! 

Various plastic surgeons put high profile individuals lives at stakes. The Netflix Studios also streams exclusive collection episodes on Celebrity Plastic Surgeons of Beverly Hills.

Types of Medical Errors

Medical care can go wrong in many ways.

  1. Adverse drug reactions
  2. Medication errors
  3. Laboratory errors
  4. Surgical errors
  5. Patient-controlled analgesia
  6. Falls
  7. Healthcare-associated infections

Get the seven main categories of medical errors listed above discussed in details by the medical affiliate A Train Education.

Medical Errors around the Globe

More than 250,000 people die per year due to medical errors. In addition, millions more get harmed by drug-related mistakes.

Cases of daily medical mistakes have increased through the Kenyan Medical System. Besides, a 2016 study from Johns Hopkins University suggests that medical errors may be the third-leading cause of death in the U.S., behind heart disease and cancer. 

The researchers analyzed 8 years of data and concluded that more than 250,000 people die each year due to preventable medical mistakes. A 2013 study estimated the number at more than 400,000 per year. Source, WebMD.

Medical Errors in Kenya

For instance, one patient needed surgery for a blood clot on the brain at Kenyatta National Hospital. The other counterpart patient had a non-invasive treatment for swelling. A horrifying mix-up of identification methods swayed in.

Within a matter of time, the wrong pick was made to the wrong patient. According to our credible sources, the surgeons on duty that time didn’t realize their mistake until “hours into the surgery”. What transpired next according to the BBC News Article was a bigwig for a coverup. Read More!

Medical Errors in California

In April 2014, the 54-year-old woman had surgery to remove a tumor from her uterus at Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria, CA.

Two weeks later, she had bruising and pain in her abdomen along with vaginal bleeding. A separate surgeon reportedly told her it was part of the healing process. But at her 6-week visit, she complained of more pain.

It was then that a bulb syringe was discovered in her abdomen, and she had surgery to remove it. The California Department of Public Health fined the hospital $28,500 for the medical mistake.

Medical errors can occur anywhere in the health care system. In hospitals, clinics, surgery centers, doctors’ offices, nursing homes, pharmacies, and patients’ homes.

Preventing Medical Errors and Common Mistakes

The best way you can help to prevent errors is to be an active member of your health care team. That means taking part in every decision about your health care. 

Medical Errors Research
Research shows that patients who are more involved with their care tend to get better results.

Medicine

Precautions

  1. Make sure that the doctors know about every past medicine use history. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements, such as vitamins and herbs.
  2. Bring all medicines and supplements to the doctor during visits. The medicine you present to them helps them in further changes and decisions making. Talk about them and find out if there are any problems. It can also help the doctors keep records up to date and help in better quality care.
  3. Make sure the doctors know about allergies and adverse reactions encountered previously. This helps them avoid giving medicine that could harm you.
  4. When your doctor writes a prescription for you, make sure you can read it. If you cannot read your doctor’s handwriting, your pharmacist might not be able to either.

Consultation

  1. Ask for information about your medicines in terms you can understand. Both when your medicines are prescribed and when you get them. For example;
    • What is the medicine for?
    • How am I supposed to take it and for how long?
    • What side effects are likely? What do I do if they occur?
    • Is this medicine safe to take with other medicines or dietary supplements I am taking?
    • What food, drink, or activities should I avoid while taking this medicine?
  2. When you pick up your medicine from the pharmacy, ask: Is this the medicine that my doctor prescribed?
  3. If you have any questions about the directions on your medicine labels, ask. Medicine labels can be hard to understand. For example, ask if “four times daily” means taking a dose every 6 hours around the clock. Or just during regular waking hours.
  4. Ask your pharmacist for the best device to measure your liquid medicine. For example, many people use household teaspoons, which often do not hold a true teaspoon of liquid. Special devices, like marked syringes, help people measure the right dose.
  5. Ask for written information about the side effects your medicine could cause. If you know what might happen, you will be better prepared if it does or if something unexpected happens.

Medical Mistakes and Errors can involve medicines, surgery, diagnosis, equipment, or lab reports. One out of seven Medicare patients in hospitals experiences a medical error.

Hospital Stays

During the admission period

  1. If you are in a hospital, consider asking all health care workers who will touch you whether they have washed their hands. Handwashing can prevent the spread of infections in hospitals.
  2. When you are being discharged from the hospital, ask your doctor to explain: The treatment plan you will follow at home. Including learning about your new medicines, making sure you know when to schedule follow-up appointments. And find out when you can get back to your regular activities. It is important to know whether or not you should keep taking the medicines. Particularly, those you were taking before your hospital stay. This may help prevent an unexpected return trip to the hospital.

Surgical procedures 

  1. 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. 
  2. 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.

Other Additional Steps

General Care

  1. Speak up if you have questions or concerns. You have a right to question anyone who is involved with your care.
  2. 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.
  3. Make sure that all your doctors have your important health information. Do not assume that everyone has all the information they need.
  4. 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.

Knowledge and Experience

  1. 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.
  2. If you have a test, do not assume that no news is good news. Ask how and when you will get the results.
  3. 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.

You can watch a Discovery Channel Documentary on Shocking Medical Mistakes Below. 

Medical Errors Takeaway

Medical errors can occur anywhere in the health care system. In hospitals, clinics, surgery centers, doctors’ offices, nursing homes, pharmacies, and patients’ homes.

Medical Mistakes and Errors can involve medicines, surgery, diagnosis, equipment, or lab reports. One out of seven Medicare patients in hospitals experiences a medical error.

All inclusive medical mistakes and errors can happen during even the most minor routine tasks. Such as when a hospital patient on a salt-free diet is given a high-salt meal.

Most common medical mistakes and errors result from problems created by today’s complex health care system. But errors also happen when doctors and patients have problems communicating.

Consider proper scrutinization and arrangement within the fold before and after medical care. Technology is way ahead of the old practitioner’s way. Thoroughly training and guides on computerized – systems – gadgets – theater equipment must be adopted.

Resourceful References;

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