A hospital error is when there is a mistake in your medical care. Errors can be made in your:
Hospital errors are a leading cause of death. Doctors and nurses are working to make hospital care safer.
Learn what you can do to prevent medical errors when you are in the hospital.
Go to a hospital you trust.
Make sure that you and your surgeon know exactly where you are getting your operation. Have the surgeon mark on your body where they will operate.
Remind family, friends, and health care providers to wash their hands:
Tell your nurse and doctor about:
Know about the medicine that you will get in the hospital. Speak up if you think you are getting the wrong medicine or getting a medicine at the wrong time. Know or ask for:
Expect that all medicines should have a label with the name of the medicine on it. All syringes, tubes, bags, and pill bottles should have a label. If you do not see a label, ask your nurse what the medicine is.
Ask your nurse if you are taking any “high-alert” medicine. These medicines can cause harm if they are not given the right way. A few high-alert medicines are blood thinners, insulin, and narcotic pain medicines. Ask what extra safety steps are being taken.
Call you doctor if you have concerns about hospital errors.
Medical errors - prevention
Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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