Preventable Hospital Hazards
Each year, almost 300,000 people die as a result of preventable medical errors. Infections, wounds, and injuries acquired by hospital patients can cause serious illness and suffering and, in many cases, even death. However, with a little preparation, families of hospital patients can take steps to assure that their loved ones get the proper care and treatment that they need to stay safe and get better.
Some common illnesses, injuries, and errors that hospital patients may encounter include:
- Hospital-Acquired Infections (HAIs) such as staph infections, antibiotic-resistant infections, intestinal and abdominal complications, urinary tract infections, and pneumonia
- Fractures and falls in the hospital
- Pressure wounds like pressure ulcers or bed sores
- Blood clots
- Errors in medications
- Errors in surgery
To help prevent some of these injuries, be proactive:
- Bring antibacterial wipes and wipe down all surfaces
- Help the patient take care of basic hygiene needs
- Help the patient change positions each hour and put cream on the vulnerable spots to prevent bed sores
- Bring a medical dictionary with you to the hospital and look up each of the medications that your loved one is prescribed to prevent medication error.
- Make sure you keep a close watch on the feelings and needs of your loved one