When it comes to undergoing surgery, most patients place their trust in healthcare professionals to provide good care. While surgeons and medical staff are typically highly trained and dedicated, surgical errors can still occur.
You can play an important role in your safety during a surgical procedure. Before any operation, take specific steps to advocate for yourself and your interests to minimize the risk of a surgical error.
Communicate your situation
Clearly communicate your medical history, current medications and any allergies or adverse reactions to anesthesia. Additionally, ask questions and seek clarification on any aspects of the procedure you do not understand.
Choose a qualified surgeon
Before scheduling surgery, research your surgeon’s credentials and experience. You should also choose a healthcare facility with a reputation for patient safety and high-quality care.
Prepare for the operation
Follow the instructions your surgeon gives you, such as fasting requirements and adjustments to medication prior to the surgery. Arrive at the hospital or clinic on time, and bring a list of current medications and any personal items you might need during recovery.
Advocate for yourself
During the pre-operative assessment and before the surgery, make sure all medical staff verify your identity and the procedure. Confirm that medical staff mark the surgical site appropriately to avoid any mistakes. According to the World Health Organization, there is a 1 in 300 chance of harm occurring while you undergo any healthcare procedure, so do not hesitate to speak up if something does not seem right.
A surgical error can have lasting consequences that affect daily living. When an operation does not go as it should, take action to hold all responsible parties accountable and protect your interests.