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According to Johns Hopkins researchers, medical error is the third leading cause of death in the United States, trailing only cancer and heart disease. It is estimated that it kills over 250,000 people each year. You can help your medical team avoid some of the most common ones by doing a few things. If you get the wrong drug or dose, it can lead to serious complications. Some are extremely potent, and it can be difficult to administer them in a dose that is both safe and effective. Mistakes can be caused by a lack of training, human error, or poor communication. Pay attention, ask questions, and keep an updated list of your medications on hand so your doctor is aware of any other medications you are taking. Because these drugs target bacteria, they will not help with the common cold, flu, or other viral infections. And if you take them too frequently when you don’t need to, they may stop working. It is critical that your doctor prescribes them for the proper reason and at the appropriate dose. If you don’t need them, don’t ask for them. The most dramatic example is when a surgeon removes the incorrect limb, but it can also happen if they operate on the incorrect organ or even the wrong person. The layout of the operating room, distractions, and being behind schedule can all contribute to this. One thing you can do is mark the appropriate area on your body before surgery. Being in the hospital is unpleasant, but you should not be rushed home before you are ready. According to studies, persons who go home too soon, especially after surgery, are more likely to get extremely ill again due to complications. But you also don’t want to remain too long. This is connected to increased infection rates and other issues. Tell your doctor everything about your symptoms so you can obtain the treatment you need, then go home and stay there.

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