Imagine losing a breast because your doctor thought a swollen lymph node was cancerous when it actually was just a bacterial infection. How tragic would that be? It happens more often that you think.
Do you trust your physician to make a timely and accurate diagnosis? If you’re not so sure, you’re not alone. A recent survey found that nearly 1 in 6 patients believed there doctor had misdiagnosed them or rendered the wrong treatment.
In some cases, the doctor wasn’t guilty of malpractice. But in other cases, red flags were waving.
According to a Reuters report:“Indeed, U.S. data published in 1991 suggested as many as 98,000 deaths per year might be due to medical errors. In the new survey, based on almost 1,700 patients at seven clinics, eight percent said they had experienced ‘a lot’ or ‘severe’ harm from the perceived mistake in care.”
Shocking, isn’t it? The importance of trust between a patient and doctor can’t be overemphasized. Yet there are so many medical mistakes committed and many of the drugs, tests, and treatments are dangerous on their own, simply finding a trustworthy doctor may not be enough to keep you safe. Especially when you consider this:Medical mistakes and prescription drugs may be the leading cause of death in the United States.
Ten years ago, it was concluded that properly prescribed and used prescription drugs were the fourth leading cause of death. Now this research has been refined and the conclusion is that a combination of medical mistakes and pharmaceuticals may possibly be the leading cause of death.
Take a minute to think about that. Conventional “health care” is killing more people than any disease in our society. Obviously, you are not safe in the hands of U.S. health care. What to do if you need to go to the hospital.
First, don’t assume one hospital is as good as another. You can find patient-safety ratings on the Internet. Read them and compare. Also, try to plan your stay (unless it’s an emergency or you’re in an accident) so that you aren’t admitted the first few days of the month. Hospitals aren’t sufficiently staffed at that time.
Secondly, it is your right and responsibility to safeguard your health. Make sure your doctor listens to your concerns and provides accurate care. If you have a question, ask and expect an answer.
Of course, the best course of action is to do everything you can to stay out of the hospital in the first place. That way you significantly lower your chances of medical errors and misdiagnosis. The only way to make sure you don’t end up as a patient, however, is to optimize your health with a sound diet based on good nutrition and a consistent exercise program. There’s simply no better way to stay well and enjoy life!