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Patients are own best advocates against medical errors

Trust your instincts. This is the message being echoed by consumer health advocates nationwide as thousands of citizens die each year from medical errors. If you suspect you have been misdiagnoses or something is “not right,” speak up, or it may be too late by the time your physician realizes your condition has worsened.

To ensure you receive the appropriate medical care make sure you have a friend or family member at your bedside 24/7 to keep track of things and get what you need. These friends and family members can also serve to aid you after you determine you have been a victim of medical malpractice.

Other suggestions are to log all treatment, names of caregivers, and be assertive about pain relief. If you’re having surgery, have the physician sign the site beforehand to be sure they work on the right area. Ask lots of questions at the doctor’s office and prepare questions ahead of time to address all the concerns you may have about your condition and the course of treatment prescribed.

With nursing shortages and overworked employees in hospitals nationwide, an additional responsibility has fallen on the consumer to question the treatments and care provided.

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