Your Hospital Survival Guide
Preparing for a trip to the hospital – whether it is a spur-of-the-moment trip to the emergency room or a procedure that is scheduled months in advance – is something no one looks forward to. Planning in advance for the likelihood that you may require the kind of treatment that only a hospital can provide is a smart move, and ensures that if an event arises, you will be ready. Today, hospital patients need to arm themselves with information both about their conditions as well as the potential for problems that could arise. Complications resulting from a hospital stay have become common, and can include anything from contracting a healthcare associated infection to suffering a medical misdiagnosis or surgical error. Being prepared for your visit by following our hospital survival guide will help to ensure your health and safety while you undergo treatment.
Preparing for a Hospital Stay
In today’s world, patients need to be their own advocates when it comes to asking for and getting the medical care and attention they need. Even if you have insurance, you are still paying for healthcare, and it is in your best interests to be a smart consumer and actively work to prevent any kinds of medical errors or lapses in care. Being prepared can go a long way towards ensuring you get the care you deserve. According to Consumer Reports, there are a variety of ways you can prepare for a hospital stay, including the following:
- Make a drug list of any and all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medicines or supplements you take
- Know your heart attack or stroke risk. If you are at risk for either, your doctor may need to prescribe medication to protect your heart and prevent blood clots
- Prepare a living will and health care proxy. Advance directives can spare your loved ones from having to make difficult choices in the event of an emergency
- Get a flu shot and be screened for MRSA, a potentially deadly bacterium that is resistant to antibiotics
- Enlist a helper, someone who can go with you and act as a ‘second set of ears’ to make sure you do not miss anything
Be prepared for any kind of healthcare emergency by researching the hospital in your area. Check your hospital’s ratings in terms of safety and cleanliness, and see how other patients rate their experience.
Be an Informed Patient
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises people to be informed, empowered, and prepared when going to the hospital by following these tips for patient safety:
- Speak up and inform your doctor of any worries or concerns you have
- Wash your hands frequently, and make sure your healthcare providers do the same
- Let doctors or nursing staff know immediately if any bandages need changed
- If you have a central line or catheter, make sure it is checked frequently and let the staff know if it becomes sore or red
- Know the signs and symptoms of infection, such as nausea, fever, and digestive problems
Our Office Can Help You Today
If you or someone you care about has suffered an injury or illness as the result of a hospital stay or procedure, contact our experienced South Carolina medical malpractice attorneys right away. At Anastopoulo Law Firm we can help you to get the compensation you need to recover from healthcare associated infections, surgical errors, and medical misdiagnosis. With offices in Charleston and throughout South Carolina, we’ll fight for your rights, and hold responsible parties accountable for your injuries. Call us today for a free consultation.