Medical complications can occur at any time when you are receiving treatment for an illness or injury. These problems can involve medical procedures, problems with anesthesia or infection in the post-surgical period. One study from Stanford University indicates that as much as 40 percent of complications happen after the patient has been discharged. About 3/4 of these occur within two weeks of being discharged. Here are some tips on preventing and dealing with medical complications that can occur during treatment.
Assign an Advocate for Your Care
Because of medications or anesthesia, patients may not always be aware of what’s going on while they are under treatment or recovering from it. If you assign a trusted friend or family member to be present for your care, this individual can monitor your care and report any problems that may result.
Know Your Legal Rights
When efforts to achieve optimum care are not satisfied by discussion with your physician or the medical board, you should consult a personal injury attorney who is experienced in medical malpractice suits to ensure that you understand your rights to compensation under the law. A Philadelphia med mal attorney knows that some patients suffer harm as a result of substandard care. When medical complications arise, it can be particularly important to know your rights as a patient to receive the care that will help return you to full health.
Common Complications of Medical Care
Some of the most common complications involved in medical care are associated with surgery. Thousands of medical malpractice cases are filed each year that involve blood clots, pain, or infection of wounds. Hospital-acquired infections are a growing problem, and many of these cases involve bacteria that is antibiotic-resistant, which can lead to disfigurement or death. Problems with anesthesia and lung-collapse are other common problems that occur during treatment. Surgical instruments left in body cavities after surgery can also occur, leading to pain, infection, and the need for further surgery.
Get a Second Opinion
If you have concerns about how your physician is managing your condition, you have the right to seek a second opinion to ensure that your treatment is appropriate to ensure your recovery from the problem. In many cases, patients request a second opinion when any serious medical procedure is being considered, but it can be especially important when a complication arises.
Keep Good Records
You or your advocate should ensure that you have a clear understanding of what is being done and how your care is being handled. The complex medical terminology increases the difficulty of understanding exactly what is going on. Thorough notes on what your physician and medical staff say and do can help to clarify the details of your treatment.
Medical complications occur, sometimes despite all efforts of the physician and hospital staff. However, you can take steps to ensure that all measures are taken to correct the problem and improve your chances for a successful recovery.
Author information: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on twitter: @RachelleWilber.