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16 Ways to Prevent Medical Mistakes

  • June 20, 2011
  • 6:01 pm
  • 1 of 5
16 Ways to Prevent Medical Mistakes


By Joanne Chen

A part from interfering with your beach vacation, there’s another, more serious reason to steer clear of summer surgery if you can: a 10 percent spike in fatalities at teaching hospitals in July, confirmed by a new Journal of General Internal Medicine study. David Phillips, PhD, the study’s lead author and professor of sociology at the University of California, San Diego, speculates that the “July effect” may occur because that’s the month when new doctors-in-training begin their residencies.

The fatalities aren’t the fault of poor knife skills botching operations, though–rather, they’re due to mistakes made prescribing and administering patient medications, both surgery-related and not.

All told, as many as 98,000 deaths occur each year due to all kinds of medical mistakes–the equivalent of a fully packed 747 crashing every other day. According to a congressionally mandated study on Medicare recipients, during 2008, 1 in 7 hospital patients experienced at least one unintended harm that prolonged his or her stay, caused permanent injury, required life-sustaining treatment, or resulted in death.

So what can you do to make sure this doesn’t happen to you or someone you love? Plenty, say doctors, nurses, and researchers. Here’s where to start.

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10:52PM PDT on Jul 28, 2011

Terrific Info - Thanks

2:38AM PDT on Jun 30, 2011

Good info, thanks.

6:47AM PDT on Jun 28, 2011

Thx for the info. Useful!

7:15AM PDT on Jun 26, 2011

Thanks for tips!

5:50AM PDT on Jun 24, 2011

Practicing medicine.....that's exactly what it is.

12:54PM PDT on Jun 23, 2011

thank you

11:52AM PDT on Jun 23, 2011

also consider to say a prayer from your heart e.g “Pray for a peaceful and contented mind in all circumstances.”

- a lovingly said mantra silently from the heart continuosly may help get your mind in a better space a tiny bit (bit by bit) too.

even saying "the names of Christ, Allah or Buddha" lovingly repeatedly constantly silently from the heart may help your mind a bit

more (not the only) ideas on mantras here:

or at least you can also try to set your intention before that any medical procedure goes really well. May help a bit - clearly not the only thing to do, but some extra ideas that are free.

10:07AM PDT on Jun 23, 2011

I'll keep these in mind. I once had a doctor prescribe me the wrong medication because he DIDN'T BELIEVE that I was having pain in my kidney and insisted that I had a bladder infection. Thankfully, it was only a stone, and not an actual kidney infection, or his mistake could have cost me my life.

3:35AM PDT on Jun 23, 2011

Really scary...

8:34AM PDT on Jun 22, 2011

I can't help feeling anxious for my health whenever I go inside a hospital, to visit friends or relatives, I mean... Scary places!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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