Friday, August 7, 2009

Avoiding medical errors in the hospital: practical tips

CNN has a nice article titled, "Nurses offer tips for surviving a hospital stay."

People don't seem to realize how dangerous the hospital can be for a patient. As many as 98,000 people die in U.S. hospitals each year as a result of medical errors, according to an Institute of Medicine report. Some 99,000 people die each year from infections acquired in the hospital, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Here are the 5 tips mentioned in the article:
1. Bring in a list of the medications you're taking
2. Make sure the hospital gets your name right
3. Ask about every medication they give you
4. Make sure everyone washes hands
5. If you think something's wrong, don't back down
Let me add my own hospital safety tips:
  • If you have a drug allergy, mention that fact each time you receive a medication.
  • Request a current list of medications that you are receiving in the hospital each day (keep that medical student busy).
  • If you're not receiving a medication that you normally take at home, ask them about that! (how will you know this unless you have a list from home and you can compare that to your list in the hospital?)
  • If you're having surgery on an arm/leg, make sure they mark the correct limb with a marker. You don't want to wake up with the wrong limb missing!
To read the CNN story, click here.

1 comment:

  1. More research should also be done on the excessive use of antibiotics in the hospital. My husband had a stroke a year ago, aspirated food particle, slight temperature (he felt fine), given an antibiotic, C-diff showed in stool (still felt fine), quarantined, (still felt fine). We asked "weekend" doctor to insert Probiotic in feeding tube, he did and C-diff diminished. In the past, this pro-biotic treatment was common, should be brought back. C-diff (simply speaking)is result of killing of good bacteria, leaving stronger bad bacteria to thrive.