What are the most common problems caused by hospital error?

By knowing about the common hospital errors and how to prevent them, patients can better protect themselves during their stays.

Healthcare plays an important role in every Rhode Islander's life, and each person counts on his or her healthcare professionals to provide reliable care in a safe setting. The fact is, however, that people do sometimes develop medical problems while at a medical treatment center, as ironic as it may seem. These can range from minor complications to fatal errors. In order to protect oneself, it is helpful to know what types of issues commonly happen to patients in hospitals.

Infections in hospitals

Infections can be easily prevented by better sanitation, but they are much more common in hospitals than they should be. By making sure his or her health providers wash their hands, patients can reduce the chance that they will end up infected at a hospital. According to U.S. News, infections happen as commonly as in 1 in every 25 patients.

Too much blood transfusion

In the same article, U.S. News cites research which evaluated several studies. The conclusive evidence from data extracted from many studies seems to show that red blood cell transfusion seemed to coincide with a higher risk for disease and even for death. They also cite another recent study which reveals that 59.3 percent of red blood cell transfusions were, upon review by a panel of 15 experts, deemed inappropriate. Patients may be better off taking the attitude that a blood cell transfusion should only be done if absolutely necessary.

Errors with medications

Prescribing an improper dose, prescribing the wrong drug and even getting patients' medications mixed up are all errors that can have serious and even fatal consequences, and they are all-too-common in hospitals. Whether the nurse, the pharmacist, or the physician ends up being responsible, there are many stages at which an error can happen. Patients should take the initiative of doing research into the effects of drugs and any possible contraindications.

Misuse of antibiotics

People should always make sure they are finding out why they are getting prescribed antibiotics. Antibiotics have the potential to kill bacteria that normally live in the body that have the beneficial effect of maintaining equilibrium with more harmful bacteria. One of the more common bacteria that can take hold of a body weakened by antibiotics is clostridium difficile, which can kill. If a person is prescribed antibiotics, he or she should take them as prescribed and finish the entire dose, so as to avoid breeding an antibiotic-resistant superbug.

If someone in Rhode Island has been dealing with pain and suffering from a hospital error, he or she may be due for some compensation. A lawyer in the local area who represents people in medical malpractice cases may be able to advise of an effective way to proceed in such situations.