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Should patients be responsible for preventing hospital errors?

Have mistakes by medical personnel become so pervasive that they are considered to be commonplace? Several articles have been written advising patients to take certain steps to limit the probability that they will be the victims of serious or fatal hospital errors. An Illinois resident can do -- or should be required to do – only so much when seeking medical help and intervention.

The horror stories about surgical procedures have reached a point where people are writing on their own body parts in order to ensure that a surgeon does not operate on the wrong body part. So many medication errors are made in operating rooms that people are being advised to ask questions regarding what they are being given, the dosages and who is administering them. Patients are being advised to question their doctor's treatment plan to be sure that it is the right one. 

The internet can provide a plethora of information regarding a condition and its treatments, but that does not mean that an Illinois resident should be responsible for choosing the correct course of action. Of course, that is assuming that the right diagnosis was made in the first place. It might not surprise readers that some people are probably hesitant to go the hospital under this kind of pressure. Even the most diligent patient has little control once he or she is under anesthesia.

There are procedures, policies and protocols that are in place -- or should be in place -- to minimize the number of mistakes that are made. Sadly, hospital errors are an unfortunate fact of life. Medical personnel are human, and they are going to make mistakes. Even so, they should be held accountable when those errors are made -- especially if the patient is seriously, permanently or fatally injured.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Medical Errors Are The Third Leading Cause Of Death -- How You Can Avoid Them", Cary A. Presant, M.D., July 21, 2016

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