The risk of suffering an injury or illness due to medical malpractice is greater than most people realize. Each year, between 210,000 and 440,000 hospital patients endure some kind of medical error that contributes to their death, according to a study published in the Journal of Patient Safety.
If you were injured or lost a family member due to medical negligence in Louisiana, turn to The Bowling Law Firm. Call 877-757-3539 to discuss your case with a wrongful death attorney in New Orleans.
Read on to learn four ways patients can reduce their risk of being injured due to medical negligence:
1. Do Your Own Research
If you receive a diagnosis that you do not understand, you should take it upon yourself to learn more about it. Consider getting a second opinion from another doctor. If your original physician delivered a misdiagnosis or failed to diagnose your actual condition, then getting a second opinion could be a life-saving decision.
2. Track All of Your Medication
It is common to visit multiple health-care providers, especially if you are suffering from a condition that requires one or more specialists. If you do have multiple providers, they may work together, but it is ultimately up to you to remember all of the medications that you are currently taking.
Keep an up-to-date list of any prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, and supplements you take so you can readily share this information with your providers. This will help prevent adverse side effects due to drug interactions.
3. Take a Proactive Approach to Any Procedures
Although surgical errors that involve operating on the wrong part of the body are fairly rare, they do occur. According to the Patient Safety Network, 1 in 112,000 procedures involves such an error.
You can reduce the risk of undergoing an operation on the wrong side of the body--or on the wrong organ--by ensuring everyone on the surgical team knows exactly why you are there. Ask your provider to mark the surgical site before administering the anesthesia, as well, so you can confirm it is the right place.
4. Bring an Advocate to Your Appointments
If you are preparing for an invasive medical procedure, bring a family member or close friend to all of your appointments. This will give you an extra layer of oversight when communicating your concerns.
If you are ever unable to make your own medical decisions, your family member will also serve as an advocate on your behalf and ensure you continue receiving quality care. Unfortunately, even with this additional protection, medical malpractice can still occur.
If you were hurt or lost a family member due to a preventable medical error, contact a medical malpractice lawyer from The Bowling Law Firm. David A. Bowling will interview your health-care team, evaluate doctors' records, gather evidence and compassionately represent your interests. Call 877-757-3539 today to discuss your case with a wrongful death attorney in New Orleans.