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Medical mistakes could be reduced by family intervention

Many Florida family members believe that they should do their best to stay out of the way at hospitals and during the medical treatment of their loved ones. However, evidence may show that family members actually need to get as involved as possible in the medical care of their loved ones to prevent potential medical errors. One woman recalls that as her husband was receiving medical treatment, the staff members misplaced or forgot two orders of blood that her husband required in a case of medical negligence.

She heard these orders for blood, but she did not interfere, believing that interfering would only cause problems. However, she later believed that she should have gotten more involved to make sure that her husband was getting the appropriate medical care. Many family members will need to get involved and act as an advocate for their family members to avoid mistakes.

The woman involved in these mistakes stated that hospitals should encourage family members to ask questions and to educate themselves about the medications that their family member is receiving and when they are receiving it. She suggested that hospitals should provide handbooks to these family members for the better tracking and understanding of procedures and medications that their family members need.

Residents of Florida may consider claims of medical negligence or medical malpractice in the event that medications are improperly given to their family members or forgotten entirely during the course of their treatment. While increased family vigilance may be able to avoid some medical mistakes, the responsibility is still upon the hospital and the hospital staff to ensure an acceptable level of care to patients. Personal injury attorneys may be able to help someone determine whether or not they receive the appropriate level of medical care for themselves or their family members.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, "A prescription for fewer medical errors", Marie McCarren, June 25, 2013

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