No one wants their doctor to tell them they need surgery, but many Missouri residents will receive such news before 2019 ends. Some situations might involve elective surgeries. However, you may be among those who currently have a serious health condition that requires surgery to help you heal.
There are also a great number of people who will wind up on operating tables in life-or-death situations, for instance, after suffering injury in a motor vehicle collision. If you schedule surgery, you have the right to reasonably expect that your surgeon and entire medical team will act in accordance with accepted safety standards. When doctors cut corners or nurses are negligent, patients are the ones who often suffer.
Errors that should never happen
During post-surgical recovery, you may experience pain and discomfort. You may even need physical therapy or months of follow-up care to help you achieve as full a recovery as possible. What you should not experience, however, is an infection or worsened condition due to medical errors, such as those included in the following list:
- Believe it or not, one of the most common surgery mistakes is wrong-patient operations. Make sure that when they come to get you for surgery, you are, in fact, the correct patient for the procedure that is about to take place.
- If you are hooked to a breathing tube, it is critical that no one disconnects it prematurely; yet, this is a common medical error that causes many patients to suffer.
- It is also necessary to remove things like catheters at the proper time. Leaving a catheter in too long can cause serious, perhaps even life-threatening, infections.
- Germs can travel through latex. Because of this, you'll want to make sure that all medical team members who touch you wash their hands before doing so.
- You might need medication while you're in the hospital. Be aware that medication errors are responsible for many patient injuries.
- If at any point you need to be placed on ventilator, it is important that your medical team members make sure you are never lying flat while hooked to the machine. Ventilator-induced pneumonia is a serious and often life-threatening condition that can occur if you're flat on your back while a ventilator is helping you breathe.
There is always room for human error during any type of medical procedure. However, Missouri laws and regulations are in place that help doctors, nurses and others keep patients as safe as possible. If you take a medication that you did not know you were allergic to and have a reaction, that's one thing. If a doctor disregards your medical records that clearly state you have an allergy and he or she orders the medication in question, that's another story altogether.
What to do if you suffer medical injury
If you're a proactive patient who asks a lot of questions and stays highly involved in your own care, you may be able to catch a potential mistake and keep it from happening. That's often not possible; furthermore, it is not your responsibility to make sure doctors, nurses and other medical team members do what they're supposed to do.
If medical negligence causes you injury, you have the right to seek justice in a civil court. Judges often issue monetary judgments against licensed medical professionals who caused patients injury through negligence.