For Medicare patients, it's been shown that the odds of a medical error are fairly high--about one out of every seven patients will experience one. These are overall numbers for the United States, but they still show that patients in New York must be aware and they must be careful. These tips may help:
-- Tell the doctor--multiple times, if needed--about any and all drugs or medications that you're using.
-- Don't forget about dietary supplements. They may not be medications, per se, but you still want to mention them and perhaps even bring them in to show to the doctor.
-- Tell the doctor if you're allergic to anything and have had reactions in the past, even if you think it's not important for this specific visit.
-- Ask any questions you have about your role in the treatment, both before and after the procedure takes place.
-- Look for surgical centers that have performed many operations so that you know your surgeon--and the staff--has a lot of experience with the specific operation you're going to have.
-- Bring a family member along to every appointment. This person may catch things that you miss or think of important questions when you have too much on your mind.
-- Always speak up. If you think something is wrong or you have a bad feeling about anything, you should always mention it. Even if it's not a problem, the doctor can explain things and put your mind at ease.
When all of this is not enough and you still suffer an injury in a medical setting, be sure you know what rights you may have to compensation.
Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, "20 Tips to Help Prevent Medical Errors," accessed Oct. 09, 2015