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Surgical errors may be prevented with patient advocacy

Maryland residents trust doctors and medical staff to fix them when they are having an issue. In many cases, this means that people will need to undergo a surgical procedure. These procedures are supposed to help people return to good health and help them feel better.

But, often they don't. Surgical errors occur that can cause life-long problems and complications. In some cases, surgical errors can lead to death. In fact, medical errors are responsible for an estimated 200,000 deaths each year in the United States. Many of these might be preventable if doctors had done their job correctly.

This often means that people need to be proactive in protecting themselves in a hospital, before and after surgery. This can be difficult for people with little medical knowledge, but it is possible.

First, people need to ask questions about the medical staff. They need to know how much training a doctor has and how often a particular procedure is completed by the medical professional. People also need to ask questions about the procedure itself. They need to understand the risks of the surgery and the potential complications.

Next people need to ask about tests and medicines. People need to know why things are being ordered and what they are going to help show or prove. When people are given medicine they need to understand why the medicine is necessary and what the potential side effects may be.

Patient advocacy can help to prevent some but not all medical malpractice. When surgical errors occur, people need to know their legal options and rights if negligence was a contributing factor to the error.

Source: Fox News Health, "Avoiding medical errors when hospitalized: 5 things to know before surgery," Dr. Kevin R. Campbell, June 1, 2016

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7501 Greenway Center Drive # 460
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