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What can patients do to prevent surgical errors?

From a misdiagnosis to prescription errors, there are many types of medical mistakes that make life difficult for patients. However, surgical errors can be especially dangerous and it is imperative for patients who are preparing for operations to do everything they can to prevent surgical mistakes. In Queens, and across the state of New York, far too many patients have suffered serious consequences from operations gone wrong. Sadly, these consequences may follow them around throughout life, or even result in the loss of their life, which highlights the importance of prevention.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality outlines various ways to avoid medical mistakes on their website, including tips on how to prevent surgical errors. According to AHRQ, if you are preparing for a surgical operation, it is vital to ensure that you, your surgeon and your doctor are all in agreement on the specific details of the operation in order to prevent wrong-site surgery. Furthermore, surgeons should mark their initials on the surgery site prior to an operation. Also, patients should seek treatment in hospitals that have a considerable amount of experience performing the procedure they need, if possible.

Unfortunately, many surgical errors cannot be prevented by patients. After all, it is the surgeon's responsibility to take care of their patients properly. If you are a victim of a negligent surgical error that has made your life difficult, you should immediately take steps to hold the surgeon accountable and may want to think about taking legal action.

This piece was written to give patients a better idea of how they can prevent surgical errors and does not constitute legal advice.

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