When you have medical issues, you want to be able to trust your medical providers to take care of you. However, it's also important to take care of yourself.
Medical errors happen all the time, so you need to be an active participant in your own health care to keep from becoming a victim. Here are some of the best things you can do to help stop a medical error from affecting your life:
1. Take your medications to office or hospital visits.
The wrong medications, when combined, can cause fatal reactions. If you take your medication with you when you go to the doctor's office or a hospital, there's less chance that something will be overlooked or an incorrect dosage will be given. Make sure that you also take along any supplements, including vitamins.
2. Keep a list of your drug allergies on you.
Tucking a list of drug allergies into your wallet or purse makes it easier to ensure that you always have it available. Drug allergies can change as you age, so it's important to make sure that you keep the list updated. If you have an adverse reaction to a drug, even if it's not related to an allergy, note that and the reaction you had. Doctors can take that into consideration before they prescribe a similar medication.
3. Ask questions about your medical care.
Whether you're obtaining a prescription in your doctor's office or being administered drugs in a hospital, it's important to ask questions. Some of the most valuable questions you can ask include:
- Why is this treatment or medication being prescribed?
- What side effects can I expect?
- How long will I need to use this treatment or medication?
- What improvements should I expect to see, and how soon should I expect them?
That way, you aren't in the dark about what's happening -- and what should be happening with your care.
If you are a victim of medical negligence despite your best efforts, consider exploring your legal options for seeking justice and compensation.