When you visit a New Mexico doctor's office, you can reasonably expect that the physician and nurses who tend to your needs will act according to the highest level of accepted safety standards and industry protocol. If they don't, you are at great risk for medical injury. Sadly, thousands of lives are lost every year in situations that were easily preventable. Thankfully, many medical patients survive their injuries; however, it is usually not without significant negative impact on their health.
If you suffer a worsened condition or other injury because your doctor or another medical team member was negligent, you may be in for a long, arduous recovery. From failure to diagnose to improper administration of medication or surgical errors, medical malpractice is problematic in many states. The more proactive you are as a patient, the less chance you have of suffering a medical injury.
Ways to avoid medical mistakes
Any number of things can go wrong during a routine doctor visit or medical situations that are more complex, such as treating chronic illness or undergoing surgery. The following list includes helpful ideas that may lower your risk of injury:
- If you are visiting a doctor for examination, even if it's a doctor who is familiar with you, it is always best to provide a written list of any and all medications you are currently taking or have recently taken.
- People can develop allergies at any time. If you suspect you are allergic to particular drug or medication, always let your doctor know.
- Proactive patients often avoid injury by asking a lot of questions. Your doctor works for you and is obligated to provide you any and all information available regarding proposed treatments and possible side effects.
- If you are receiving treatment and experience adverse reactions to medication, it warrants immediate medical attention.
- If you feel like your doctor has ignored symptoms that you reported, you can seek medical support from another licensed physician. Ignoring symptoms often leads to serious medical injury and in some cases, even death.
- If you endure a hospital stay, it pays to keep your eyes on what's happening around you. If you notice that a medical professional has not washed his or her hands, you have every right to speak up and ask him or her to do so before touching you.
You can be alert and diligent toward your own health safety; however, if you are under anesthesia, you have no control over your surroundings. Also, even if you're as proactive as possible, your doctor or another staff member might still be negligent, in which case you may be the one to suffer the consequences of substandard medical care.
If that happens
While you are never guaranteed a cure for what ails you, you do have the right to expect all medical professionals to adhere to industry regulations and safety protocols. If someone fails to do so and you suffer injury, you may access the civil justice system to seek restitution for any damages you have suffered.