Patients tend to trust their doctors implicitly. After all, physicians undergo many years of training before they can start treating patients, and advancements in hospital systems have dramatically improved medical care. Unfortunately, medical negligence is still alarmingly common in the United States.
According to a recent study by Johns Hopkins University, at least 250,000 patients died due to health-care errors in 2013. That means preventable mistakes caused nearly 1 in 10 deaths that year. This research shocked the medical community because a study published by the Institute of Medicine in 1999 estimated that only 98,000 people died due to errors in hospitals annually.
If you or a member of your family was injured by a negligent doctor, nurse or pharmacist in Texas, contact The Robson Law Firm. A personal-injury attorney in Austin will assess your case, evaluate doctors’ records and determine if you have grounds for a medical malpractice claim.
You may be entitled to compensation for lost wages, health-care bills and other damages. Call 512-345-8200 today to schedule a free consultation.
How to Avoid Becoming a Victim of Medical Negligence
The Johns Hopkins University study revealed that medical errors kill more people than respiratory disease, making them the third leading cause of death in the country. Fortunately, there are steps that patients can take to avoid becoming victims of medical malpractice:
- Ask Doctors and Nurses to Wash Their Hands: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 25 patients suffer a hospital-related infection every day. The CDC warns that these infections are more likely to occur when medical staff members do not wash their hands.
- Visit a Specialist: If you consult a doctor who specializes in your specific condition, it is less likely that he or she will deliver an inaccurate diagnosis.
- Use One Doctor Rather than Multiple Physicians: It is important that your medical team has access to all of your health-care records. If you visit several clinics, then it is more likely that important information will be overlooked.
- Request That the Doctor Types Your Prescription: A typed prescription is easier to read than one that is a handwritten. As such, it is less likely that the pharmacist will misinterpret a typed prescription and dispense the incorrect medication or the wrong dosage.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions: What foods, drinks and drugs cause adverse reactions with your new medication? What conditions have the same symptoms as your current diagnosis? The more questions you ask, the better prepared you will be to notice flaws in your treatment plan.
- Carefully Review the Labels on Your Medications: It is not uncommon for a pharmacist to mix up two medications or patients’ names. Be sure to double-check the name of the medication, your name and the dosage on the drug label.
If you were injured by a negligent health-care worker, contact The Robson Law Firm. A medical malpractice attorney in Texas will help you recover the maximum compensation for economic and non-economic damages. Call 512-345-8200 to schedule a free consultation.