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6 Ways to Avoid Becoming a Victim of Medical Malpractice

While it would be easy to think that becoming a victim of medical malpractice is cut and dry—either you are a victim or you are not a victim—there are steps that can help lessen the chance of malpractice. Continue reading for 6 of the most common.

1. Be Proactive

Being proactive about your health care and healthcare providers is the best step to avoiding medial mistakes. Do not simply take your doctor's word for it about your condition. Take to the internet (only using reputable sites and use your doctor's information as a jumping board) and do your homework. Research your health condition(s) and make a list including the specifics of your condition, as well as any symptoms.

2. Speak Up!

Doctors can use a lot of jargon that is helpful for their profession, but not so helpful to you, the patient who does not have a medical degree. If you do not understand something, do not be too intimidated to ask for clarification. By the same token, if you do not feel comfortable speaking on a personal level with your doctor or nurse, it is important to address these concerns.

3. Bring a Friend

Especially for procedures where you may have an extended stay in a hospital or where you may be under the influence of anesthetic or other heavy medications, it is always a good idea to have a friend stay with you. If you are incapacitated for any length of time, your friend can ensure that you are given the same level of care unconscious as you are conscious.

4. Be Attentive

Have you ever made a mistake while performing a menial or routine task? The same can happen with doctors. In fact, since these task may be deemed so commonplace, it is easy to overlook the small steps. As a patient, it is your job to be attentive and watch out for things that do not seem right about simple tasks. Likewise, pay attention to whether your doctor seems in the right mental state (i.e. paying attention to the task at hand) because the complacency of an easy task is more likely to lead to ‘tunnel vision' or a failure to look at the big picture.

5. Pay Attention to Yourself

Aside from being attentive about your physician, you should also pay attention to your own body. While your doctor may have years of medical training, they ultimately have no idea what is going on inside of you. If, at any time during your treatment, you feel ‘off' or that something ‘is not right,' it is important to speak up and make sure that your healthcare provider listens to you

6. Ask Questions

During every stage of your health condition, make sure to ask questions to your healthcare provider—that's what they are there for! Compose a well-written list of questions that you feel are important (whether it be about specifics about your condition, treatment options, prognosis, etc.) and expect (demand!) your doctor to take the time to answer them fully. After all, your health is very important.

Furthermore, if at any stage you feel your doctor is not providing you with the answers or treatments you deem necessary, there is nothing wrong with getting a second opinion. If you feel that the level of health care you are receiving is sub-standard, do not be afraid to find a new doctor.

Although following this list cannot guarantee that you will not fall victim to medical malpractice, being aware of what is going on around you in the medical world can go a long way.

However, if you believe you have been a victim of medical malpractice or would simply like more information, please continue browsing our blog and Tennessee Personal Injury Guide, or schedule a free consultation with Tennessee medical malpractice attorneys at Gilreath & Associates today.

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