This week, March 10-16, is Patient Safety Awareness Week. It exists to raise awareness of safety issues for people who are undergoing treatments in the hospital or in outpatient settings. One aspect of patient safety that should be discussed is the risk of medical malpractice. Mistakes and errors on the part of a healthcare professional can lead to very serious injury and death. Some of the most common types of medical malpractice include:
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis
- Medication errors, such as wrong dose or wrong medication dispensed
- Surgery performed on an incorrect part of the body
- Leaving surgical instruments inside the body
Some studies suggest that medical errors cause about 400,000 deaths annually in the United States. In addition to these tragic fatalities, many hundreds of thousands more injuries are caused by medical errors each year.
You entrust your health and your very life to the doctors, surgeons, nurses and other professionals responsible for your care. The vast majority of healthcare professionals are hard-working, skilled, competent and compassionate people who save lives and improve people's health each day. But unfortunately, a small minority of careless professionals will cause life-altering harm each year. Although there's nothing you can do to completely eliminate the risk of medical malpractice, here are a few tips for reducing your risk:
- Be your own advocate. Ask lots of questions and don't feel afraid to speak up.
- Ask for the risks and potential complications in writing.
- Verify you are receiving the right dose of the right medication.
- Disclose any and all current and future health conditions, allergies and relevant family health histories.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury as a result of medical negligence in Chicago, Berwyn, Oak Park, Cicero or any of the surrounding region of Illinois, then our experienced and skilled malpractice attorneys may be able to pursue compensation on your behalf. For a free case evaluation, please call Sklare Law Group at 312-263-0771.