Surviving in the Hospital
Available medical technology
to help you survive

More than having a comfortable, temporary residence in the hospital, it is important that one not only survive but come out of the hospital, alive and whole.

According to a study, medical errors in hospitals cause more deaths each year than vehicle accidents, cancer or even AIDS. A recent study reported that there are up to 100,000 deaths each year caused by medical mistakes. Hence, medical mistakes are reported as the eighth leading cause of death among Americans.

The causes of medical mistakes are many and varied. They can arise from the physician, specialist, hospital administration, nursing staff, pharmacists, and many other places. The type of medical mistakes also varies. These include misdiagnosis, medication errors, surgery errors, laboratory test errors, and administrative errors.

With the onset of cosmetic surgery, there have been many cases where patients come out of the hospital worse than when they entered. Even so-called minor operations are not without risks anymore.

According to ABC7, one patient was supposed to have a common surgery to fix a hernia. But because of a series of mistakes, he found himself in a situation that nearly cost him his life. The patient was supposed to have his blood vessel cauterized as part of the procedure. However, one of the interns failed to do so. They then punctured his spleen. Then they had to get the blood out of the lung cavity. But by doing so, they caused the patient's lung to collapse instead.

In an effort to reduce errors, some hospitals turned to technology. Instead of using the traditional recording of communication, hospitals nowadays utilize electronic record.

Computers are also common sights in hospitals. Nearly everyone uses a computer. Doctors have portable stations where new and old medical records can be accessed with just a click of the mouse.

Aside from a system of electronic checks and balances, pharmacy mistakes are reduced with the presence of bar-codes in all drugs and paraphernalia.

Armbands are also introduced. Nurses are now able to scan the patients' armband and match it with the electronic record, thus, reducing errors.

Despite technology's assistance, it is still advised that patients should not rely solely on technology. Doctors recommend that the patients themselves should be responsible enough to check their own record and ask their physicians hard questions beforehand.

Knowing the extent of your illness, surgery and operation might just be the ticket to saving your own life.