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Patients can reduce the risk of medical errors during their stay

With drug-resistant bacteria and other safety risks becoming a bigger concern for hospitals, it is becoming increasingly more important that South Carolina patients become aware of how they can reduce the risks of infection or other complications during their hospital stay. With medical errors estimated to cause the deaths of more than 400,000 patients each year, taking several preventative steps may just save a patient's life.

Before the patient ever leaves their home to undergo a surgical procedure, it is recommended that they research both the care ratings of the hospital where the procedure may take place and the risks associated. Choosing a hospital with a good care rating where many patients have had the same surgery performed may reduce the potential for complications. Next, patients should have a list of any conditions that they suffer and any medications that they take as these may cause side effects.

The period following the procedure is also crucial. It is important that the patient have a direct line to their doctor so that any complications can be brought to their attention. It is also recommended that patients or their family members keep a record of vital signs, which staff member was in the room and what was done.

Although a patient may be careful of their condition following a surgery, hospital errors could still occur. If someone has experienced a worsened condition due to hospital or doctor negligence, they may be eligible to file a medical malpractice claim against the doctor and the medical facility. This type of claim allows the patient to seek compensation for any complications that arose and were not effectively treated.

Source: US News Health, "How to Survive Your Hospital Stay", Lisa Esposito, June 03, 2014

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