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Surgical Errors and How to Stay Safe

| Kay Van Wey
Surgical Errors and How to Stay Safe

Most of us, by the time we reach adulthood, have had some type of surgical procedure done. Perhaps you’ve experienced a “day surgery” of some sort.

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that it’s not too exciting and it can be downright scary to place your life in the hands of another human being. There are benefits, but also risks and complications that can occur with surgery and you need to make sure you know about both.

Preparation is the Key

Here are 11 things you can do to help ensure that your surgery is a safe and successful experience:

  1. Find out how you will benefit from having your operation and what you would gain.How will it improve your life?
  2. Find out what you would lose by not having the surgery. How would that affect your life?
  3. Plan your surgery for an optimal time to have hospital staff available. (Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday during the day is best, according to research).
  4. Find out how long you can expect the benefits of your operation to last. Many times they are only for a short period of time, but others may last a lifetime.
  5. Ask if there is a possibility of having to go through another surgery after this one?Have the doctor tell you the various scenarios that could occur.
  6. Read anything and  everything you can about the procedure you are going to have (if your surgery is elective, of course), so you will know what to expect and feel more at ease.
  7. Make sure your surgeon knows if you have any other medical conditions that could place you at a higher risk.
  8. Find out how things will be when you come out of surgery. What kind of pain should you expect and what are the options available to help with the pain? Find out what the hospital staff will do to help ease the pain.
  9. Make sure you have explored all nonsurgical options and treatments you may have and the benefits and risks of each.
  10. Check hospital ratings and pay special attention to infection rates. One in 20 hospital patients develops a hospital-acquired infection, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
  11. Make a drug list and make sure your doctors have it. List all prescriptions, over the counter, vitamins and herbs you are taking.

Your involvement in preparing for your surgery is essential.

It will lead to better care and possibly a quicker recovery. You, your family, and your friends are your strongest defense against any adverse events that can occur during your experience. According to Peter Pronovost, M.D., Ph.D., director of adult critical-care medicine and a patient safety researcher at Johns Hopkins, advises everybody to…

“Question, question, question until things are explained in a way you understand. A healthcare system that doesn’t address your concerns is a risky one.”

If you have suffered at the hands of a negligent doctor or hospital staff and have been seriously injured or lost a loved one, you probably have lots of questions at this time. We’d be happy to answer them for you.

By: Kay Van Wey | May 22nd, 2016

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