Undergoing a surgical procedure may be a cause of fear for many Rhode Island residents who understandably might worry about surgical mistakes. Doctor errors include events such as leaving a sponge inside a patient’s body during surgery, but this is not the only way to suffer from a hospital error. The risk of post-surgical infection is high with about one in every 20 patients receiving an infection in the hospital, as stated by Consumer Reports. Fortunately, there is much you can do to reduce this risk. The preventive steps you could take before and after your procedure might include the following:
- Talking with your doctor about the surgery and what you will need to know after the procedure, including your post-op care and medication schedule
- Understanding your own risks on having a heart attack, blood clot or stroke on the operating table, and discussing any contributing conditions with your surgeon
- Banking your own blood before surgery if you are worried about blood-borne infections from a donor
- Making up an advance directive (living will) before the procedure and discussing with your loved ones and doctors the measures you would like taken if you experience an incapacitating medical emergency
- Insisting that everyone on the staff wash their hands and adhere to safety standards whenever you are examined
- Checking the safety rating of your hospital with Consumer Reports before setting up your appointment
These precautions may help you become better informed and involved in your care, as well as improve your chances of having a safe and effective surgical procedure. The content in this post is meant for informational purposes only and should not replace the advice of an attorney.