This book, written by a doctor and a lawyer, explains to everyday readers ways in which they can avoid death and injury caused by medical mistakes. It may be shocking to learn that preventable errors by doctor and hospital personnel are a leading cause of death and injury in the United States—perhaps even exceeding the annual deaths caused by heart disease and cancer. But avoiding these mistakes is possible, and the rules found in this book will arm readers against the careless errors that lead to such deaths and injuries.
From hospitals to doctors’ offices, medical professionals are overwhelmed, overtired, even overworked and mistakes are sometimes unavoidable even with the best safety measures in place. A resident at the end of a 36-hour on-call stint may forget to wash her hands before performing a surgical procedure. A chart may be mismarked. Medications may be inaccurately listed. Test results may be inaccurately interpreted. But patients are in a position to help themselves and their medical caregivers to avoid these mistakes by taking more active and attentive part in their own healthcare. By being aware of the most common errors, patients can look for ways to ask questions, review information, even examine test results with a critical eye toward their own health and specific situations. Chris Landon and Robert Fox show them how.