5. Mistake: The ER waiting game
• Cause: Emergency rooms get backed up when overcrowded hospitals don't have enough beds.
• Consequences: Patients get sicker while waiting for care.
• Prevention: Doctors listen to other doctors, so on your way to the hospital call your physician and ask them to call the emergency room.
• Example case: Malyia Jeffers
6. Mistake: Air bubbles in blood
• Cause: The hole in a patient's chest isn't sealed airtight after a chest tube is removed.
• Consequences: Air bubbles get sucked into the wound and cut off blood supply to the patient's lungs, heart, kidneys and brain. Left uncorrected the patient dies.
• Prevention: If you have a chest tube in you, ask how you should be positioned when the line comes out.
• Example case: Blake Fought
7. Mistake: Operating on the wrong body part
• Cause: A patient's chart is incorrect, or a surgeon misreads it, or surgical draping obscures marks that denote the correct side of the operation.
• Consequences: The surgeon cuts into the wrong side of a patient's body.
• Prevention: Just before surgery, make sure you reaffirm with the nurse and the surgeon the correct body part and side of your operation.
• Example case: Jesse Matlock
8. Mistake: Infection infestation
• Cause: Doctors and nurses don't wash their hands.
• Consequences: Patients can die from infections spread by hospital workers.
• Prevention: It may be uncomfortable to ask, but make sure doctors and nurses wash their hands before they touch you, even if they're wearing gloves.
• Example case: Josh Nahum
9. Mistake: Lookalike tubes
• Cause: A chest tube and a feeding tube can look a lot alike.
• Consequences: Medicine meant for the stomach goes into the chest.
• Prevention: When you have tubes in you, ask the staff to trace every tube back to the point of origin so the right medicine goes to the right place.
• Example case: Alicia Coleman