According to a report by the Office of Inspector General (OIG), every month one in seven Medicare patients hospitalized in the US experience a so-called “adverse event” because of preventable medical error. This amounts to 1.6 million Americans every year and 134 000 patients each month falling victim to medical mistakes. Some of these mistakes lead to permanent or serious injuries and in 180 000 thousand cases per year, the result of the mistakes is fatal.
Medical mistakes happen in every Miami-Dade county hospital, and they range from infections to incorrect medical prescriptions or doses, equipment failure, surgical mistakes, poor wound care, and other mistakes. Miami slip and fall injuries in hospitals and clinics also account for many patient injuries, especially among the elderly. According to the OIG and other experts, there are a number of things that patients can do to help prevent medical errors and adverse events when getting healthcare:
1) Maintain good health. Most doctors agree that the best way to avoid medical mistakes is to maintain good health so that less hospital care is needed. While Miami-Dade county hospitals take care to prevent errors and to provide safe environments, hospitals are by their very nature filled with germs and potential hazards. The less time you spend in them, the less likely you are to become a plaintiff in a Miami medical malpractice lawsuit.
2) If you do need medical or hospital care, go with a trusted friend or family member. This person can observe the care offered and help raise concerns as needed.
3) Insist that healthcare providers wash their hands or use a hand sanitizer and place fresh gloves on their hands before touching you. You should be able to observe this process. One of the fastest ways that infections spread in a healthcare setting is from healthcare providers to patients.
4) Ask lots of questions. Ask about tests, procedures, medications, and catheters. Make sure that they are required and ask about any side effects.
5) Make sure that any allergies you have are listed clearly on both your wrist band and your medical chart.
6) If you have dressings, make sure that they are not loose and do not emit a bad odor. If they do, you may have an infection or be at risk of one. Make sure that dressings are changed regularly.
7) Check the hospital’s rate of mistakes and complaints about the hospital before you check in. If you have the option, consider looking around for a Miami hospital with a good reputation for care.
If you have experienced an adverse reaction in hospital, you may need to seek medical redress. Even in cases where a medical mistake causes a longer hospital stay or expensive medical bills, patients and their insurers are often left with the bills. Florida law protects you. If the medical mistake in your case was caused by negligence or recklessness you can seek redress under Florida law in order to get a recovery that allows you to pay for the medical bills and lost income caused by the medical mistake. However, you will need a talented and aggressive Florida medical malpractice attorney to fight for your rights, as medical professionals and hospitals are protected by powerful insurance carriers. A good Miami medical malpractice attorney can gather evidence in your case and can ensure that you have a strong case.
If you need a medical malpractice attorney in Miami-Dade county or anywhere in South Florida, contact the Flaxman Law Group to arrange for a free consultation to discuss your case and your options. Based in Miami, Homestead, and Hollywood, the Flaxman Law Group has helped thousands of South Florida medical malpractice and personal injury patients.