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    Patient Advocacy – Avoid Medical Mistakes or Treatment Errors

    by | Nov 19, 2021 | Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Law

    With a combined 50+ years of experience in the area of medical malpractice, our law firm has seen hundreds of medical error cases, and the reality is that a majority of them involved women, minorities or the elderly. Studies and reports over the last 30+ years confirm this trend.

    • A 2017 Harvard Health blog post, Women and Pain: Disparities in Experience and Treatment, found that women’s pain is often underestimated compared to men’s pain.
    • According to a 2008 fact sheet from the Center for Justice & Democracy (New York Law School), “Racial and ethnic minorities receive inferior medical treatment by the health care industry and are being subjected to high rates of preventable medical errors.”
    • A 30 year old Harvard study found that the rate of medical negligence injuries in patients over age 65 was 50% higher than in younger age groups. Incidence of Adverse Events and Negligence in Hospitalized Patients: Results of the Harvard Medical Practice Study I (1991)

    Medical mistakes are almost always preventable. The list below may help a patient better navigate the medical health industry and possibly prevent a medical mistake or treatment error.

    Be your own advocate

    Too often, patients completely rely on what a doctor or medical professional tells them without asking questions. This type of blind reliance can lead to situations where communication errors occur, especially for minorities who do not speak or understand English. This may require asking for a translator or taking a family member or friend with you to appointments.

    Call your family doctor before going to the ER

    If you or a loved one is having a medical emergency, call 911 first. Then contact your family doctor while waiting for the ambulance and/or on the way to the hospital. Your family doctor may be able to facilitate transfer of critical medical information or history that may make the difference in your treatment and outcome.

    Disclose your full medical history

    Fully disclose your prior medical history, as it may contain highly relevant information that a doctor should consider when deciding a diagnosis or course of treatment for your condition.

    Report any and all symptoms

    When discussing your current concerns, be sure to report any and all symptoms to your healthcare provider so they have a full and accurate picture of the situation at hand.

    Understand discharge instructions before leaving the hospital

    Review discharge instructions carefully and ask questions if needed. Insist on your healthcare provider answering your questions in a way that is easily understood by you.

    Follow medical treatment advice

    It is important to follow medical treatment advice, including follow-up appointments, medication, physical therapy, etc. Always make follow-up appointments in a timely manner when recommended by your healthcare provider. If some aspect of treatment is not working for you, such as medications or physical therapy, be sure to discuss this with your provider. Do not simply stop a treatment without first consulting with your provider.

    Seek a second opinion

    Some patients who have experienced a medical treatment error often state that they had a feeling something just wasn’t right, but blindly trusted their medical provider. Follow your instincts. If you feel something is off, seek a second opinion.

    We Accept Medical Malpractice Cases Against Hospitals in the Philadelphia Area

    Cases Also Accepted Across Pennsylvania

    Philadelphia County

    Chestnut Hill Hospital

    Einstein Medical

    Hahnemann Hospital

    Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

    Jeanes Hospital

    Methodist Hospital

    Pennsylvania Hospital

    Roxborough Memorial Hospital

    Temple University Hospital

    Thomas Jefferson University Hospital

    Delaware County

    Crozer-Chester Medical Center (Upland)

    Delaware County Memorial Hospital (Drexel Hill, Upper Darby)

    Springfield Hospital (Springfield)

    Taylor Hospital (Ridley)

    Montgomery County

    Abington Hospital (Abington, Lansdale)

    Bryn Mawr Hospital (Bryn Mawr)

    Einstein Medical (East Norriton, Elkins Park)

    Holy Redeemer Hospital (Meadowbrook)

    Lankenau Hospital (Wynnewood)

    Suburban Community Hospital (Norristown)

    Children's Hospitals

    Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (Phila., West Chester, East Norriton, Meadowbrook, Doylestown, Langhorne, Sellersville, etc.)

    St. Christopher's Hospital for Children

    Shriner's Hospitals for Children

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