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Tips for Massachusetts residents in hospitals

Due to a number of factors, including the issue of lawsuits and maintaining their reputations, many hospitals have secrets that they keep hidden from patients. While these secrets are not necessarily as severe as wrong site surgery or an anesthesia error, they can have consequences for patients. Some of the most common things hidden from people are medication errors and whether the person attending to them is actually a doctor.

Medication errors can include receiving the wrong medication, being given the wrong dosage of the correct medication or not receiving medication when it is required. These mistakes can cause people to take longer to recover or suffer unnecessary side effects, but in some instances they can lead to death. In many cases, if a mistake has been made, the hospital will not notify a patient of the error. To protect themselves, people should get a list of medications from their doctor and their dosage amounts and frequency. Whenever a medication is introduced, people should ask what it is and how much they are being given.

The people patients see in lab coats are not necessarily doctors. While they may appear to be, they are often medical students. There is no standardized way to differentiate between a doctor and one in training. To be sure that the person someone is dealing with is a doctor, they should ask what role they play in their care.

People in hospitals depend on medical workers for their care, and if a hospital employee is negligent, it can lead to great harm for the patient. A personal injury lawyer could help someone who has been injured as a result of being in the hospital. A lawyer could walk them through their options and assist them in pursuing compensation.

Source: Yahoo, "Protect Yourself: 8 Common Mistakes Made by Hospital Staffs", Cindy Kuzma, October 07, 2013

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