You feel nervous about your upcoming operation and want to do your part to avoid surgical and medical errors. Where should you start?
The American Academy of Family Physicians offers tips to help you sidestep medical mishaps. Give yourself peace of mind as you work to improve your health.
Keep in touch with your surgical team
In the weeks and days leading up to your surgery, ensure that your surgical team knows the medications you currently take, including supplements and over-the-counter medication. Your team should also know about your allergies and allergic reactions. Share any other personal health information that medical professionals should know to keep you safe.
Bring your pharmacist into the fold
Even if your surgery goes well, you may experience a medication error while recovering. If you must take a prescription after your operation, talk with your pharmacist about your medication. Ensure that your doctor or surgeon and pharmacist all have the same prescription name and dosage. Also, ask about the proper way to measure and take your doses and any side effects that you should anticipate.
Be proactive in the hospital
Research the hospital where you have your surgery, checking to see how many times the surgical staff performed your specific operation. On the day of your procedure, ensure that every person involved in your surgery takes proper precautions, such as washing their hands, double-checking the surgical site for accuracy and verifying the specific surgery. Before your operation, talk with the surgeon or your physician about the specifics of your recovery, such as your treatment plan and when you may return to your normal routine.
Do what you can to protect your health and peace of mind. The right questions may help more than you realize.