Health care - here are some tips concerning protecting yourself against medical errors, one of the leading causes of death and injury. A recent report estimates that as many as 44,000 to 98,000 people die in U.S. hospitals each year due to medical errors. So more people die from medical errors than from motor vehicle accidents, breast cancer, or AIDS.
You can help to prevent these medical errors by becoming more involved with every decision about your health care.
You should make sure that all of your doctors know about everything you are taking. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, and dietary supplements such as vitamins and herbs. At least once a year talk to your Doctor about what you are taking and ask your Doctor to keep you records up to date.
Make sure your doctor knows about any allergies you have, or may have, and any adverse reactions you have had,or think you have had to any medicines. This of course can help you avoid being prescribed a medicine that can harm you.
And when your doctor writes you a prescription, make sure you can read it. If you can't read a prescription, your pharmacist might also not be able to read it.
Ask for information about any medicine your Doctor prescribes in terms you can understand. Ask you Doctor, and also ask your Pharmacist. If the Pharmacist tells you something that is different to the information your Doctor told you call your Doctor and also question the pharmacist1 You need to know what the medicine is for, how you should take it and for how long, what the side effects could be and what to do if they occur. You also need to know if the medicine is safe to take with other medicines or dietary supplements you may be taking and if there is any food, drink, or activities you should avoid while taking this medicine?
Amazingly a study by the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Sciences found that 88 percent of medicine errors involved the wrong drug or the wrong dose being given so when you pick up your medicine from the pharmacy, ask "is this the medicine that my doctor prescribed"?
I hope these tips are helpful and would be interested to hear tips others may have.