Prevent Medical Errors (cont.)
Prevent Errors During Surgery
Before you have surgery, be sure that you and all your doctors know what is going to happen. Ask about:
- Your surgeon's experience. You may get better results if your surgeon has done a lot of operations.
- When you'll have your surgery. Your surgical team may be more alert in the morning.
- How to prepare for the surgery. Ask your doctor if you have to stop taking any medicines or stop eating or drinking before the surgery. Ask your surgeon to mark your skin in advance to point to the correct area for surgery. It's rare that surgery is done on the wrong part of the body, but it can happen.
- What to do after surgery. Ask about medicines you may need after surgery and what you need to do at home. Ask about what you can or can't eat and how to take care of surgical cuts (incisions). Ask when you need to call for help.
Be sure to tell your doctors:
- Whether you have ever had a bad reaction to anesthesia. Anesthesia is the medicine you get before your surgery to make you sleep or feel relaxed and help with pain.
- Whether you take any vitamins, supplements, or herbal remedies.
- Whether you have an advance directive. If you don't have one, you may want to prepare one so your doctor knows your health care wishes.
- If you get a cold, fever, flu, or other illness close to your surgery date.
Other Places To Get Help
|Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality|
|540 Gaither Road|
|Rockville, MD 20850|
|Phone: ||(301) 427-1104|
|Web Address: ||www.ahrq.gov|
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is one agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. AHRQ supports research initiatives that seek to improve the quality of health care in America. AHRQ's mission is to improve the quality, safety, efficiency, effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness of health care for all Americans. The website provides evidence-based information to help people make decisions about health care services.
|Phone: ||1-877-696-6775 toll-free|
|Web Address: ||www.healthcare.gov|
This U.S. Health and Human Services website has information and tools about health insurance and the health care system. For example, you can find quality of care ratings for hospitals and other medical centers. You can learn about health care reform in America and health insurance options. You'll also find tips and tools for staying healthy.
|Medically Induced Trauma Support Services|
|830 Boylston Street|
|Chestnut Hill, MA 02467|
|Phone: ||1-888-36-MITSS (1-888-366-4877)|
|Fax: ||(617) 232-7181|
|Web Address: ||www.mitss.org|
Medically Induced Trauma Support Services (MITSS) is a nonprofit organization that supports, educates, trains and offers assistance to individuals affected by an adverse medical event.
|National Patient Safety Foundation|
|268 Summer Street, 6th Floor|
|Boston, MA 02210|
|Phone: ||(617) 391-9900|
|Fax: ||(617) 391-9999|
|Web Address: ||www.npsf.org|
The National Patient Safety Foundation is an organization dedicated to improving the safety of patients. The foundation works to raise public awareness about patient safety and is a resource for people and organizations who are concerned about the safety of patients.