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Surgical errors may be avoided with proper communication

While medical facilities certainly strive to avoid errors, mistakes continue to occur in Delaware and elsewhere. Patients do not always realize that they have the right to know exactly what will be done to them, and they should not hesitate to ask questions. Many surgical errors can be avoided if there is proper communication between medical personnel and patients.

A patient can start questioning even before surgery is scheduled, by researching the surgeon and making sure that the care provided in the operating room will be in the hands of the most qualified individual. It is a physician's duty to explain the details of a planned surgery, including the reason for suggesting it and any alternative treatments. The potential consequences of opting for an alternative must also be explained, and the patient may ask as many questions as he or she needs to make informed decisions.

The same goes for tests and their results. A patient has the right to ask the reason for the tests, and to seek an explanation as to how the test will help the doctor in treating the medical problem. It is also important for a patient to be fully informed of potential complications and the treatment of them. Doctors may not perform any procedures without having the informed consent of the patient. Lastly, medication errors can have devastating consequences, and medicine should not be taken without asking what it is and why it was prescribed.

Delaware residents who have had to cope with the consequences of surgical errors have the right to pursue recovery of all damages sustained. Lawsuits against doctors and medical facilities can be complicated and require appropriate evidence to prove negligence. For this reason, the skills of an experienced medical malpractice attorney are often sought by victims of medical errors. A lawyer will advocate on behalf of the client with the goal of obtaining compensation for emotional, physical and financial damages and losses sustained.

Source: foxnews.com, "Avoiding medical errors when hospitalized: 5 things to know before surgery", Dr. Kevin R. Campbell, June 1, 2016

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