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What should you do before surgery to avoid complications?

October 16, 2015

About one out of every 20 patients in hospitals nationwide come down with infections acquired during their stay, states Consumer Reports. This especially includes those undergoing surgery, since patients are particularly vulnerable during the procedure and recovery. If you are preparing for an operation in a Kentucky hospital and concerned about the risks of a surgical error, you may wonder if there is anything you can do increase your chances of coming through the procedure safely.

Here are some tips that may reduce your risk of becoming a victim of hospital mistakes:

  • Check your hospital’s safety rating with Consumer Reports before scheduling your procedure.
  • Discuss the procedure and concerns you have with your surgeon, including what will be done, medications you need to take and post-surgery recovery.
  • Hold each member of your hospital staff accountable for hygiene and safety standards, including washing their hands before inspecting your incision and signing off on all procedures.
  • Be knowledgeable on whether you have any conditions that might increase your risk of a heart attack, stroke or blood clot during surgery, and talk to your doctor about what you can do.
  • Prepare a living will before going into surgery, and make sure your doctors and loved ones understand what you would like done if there is a medical emergency that leaves you temporarily or permanently incapacitated.
  • If you are concerned about infected blood in the event you may need a transfusion, make arrangements to bank your own blood in advance of the surgery.

When you go into the hospital fully informed and prepared to handle the elements of your care, you may give yourself peace of mind that you’ve done all you can to improve your odds of having a safe and effective procedure. This information is not meant to substitute for the advice of an attorney in a medical malpractice situation.