Heart disease, followed by cancer, are the two most prominent causes of death. But what about the third one? Is he well known enough?
Writer Peter Edelstein confirms, in a report on the Psychology Today website, that medical errors, which can be remedied, are the third of these reasons.
The report presents statistics from the United States, confirming the seriousness of these errors, which kill 400,000 Americans annually and infect millions.
He talks about a new study, which reveals that one out of every five people who visit a doctor is a confirmed victim of a wrong diagnosis. Which means that 12 million Americans are exposed to such a mistake annually. Worse still, half of these errors have serious consequences, such as misdiagnosis of cancer, for example.
Such errors are blamed primarily on the medical staff in the report. It is noteworthy that doctors and nurses must constantly acquire advanced medical knowledge in order to correct their mistakes that cost many people their lives.
As for patients, they are asked to speak to the medical staff and alert them when they suspect something they have done wrong. He gives the example of a woman who had knee surgery. During her stay in the hospital, after surgery, the treating doctor came to her room and did not wash his hands. The lady knew that it was her duty to warn him, but she was ashamed and did not do so. The doctor examined her knee and touched the wound to assess its condition. In doing so, he transferred very dangerous bacteria to her from another patient he had seen. Thus, her stay in the hospital extended for an additional two weeks, during which she took more antibiotics.
The report confirms that able doctors do not feel insulted if their patient cares about his health and considers himself primarily responsible for it. In cases where the patient suspects something more serious than the diagnosis reached by the doctor, he can raise these doubts in front of him. Then the doctor will respond and request additional tests, to be completely sure about all doubts.
On the other hand, the report indicates that the damage is not limited to medical staff only, but also extends to the patients themselves. He gives an example of this in the case of people who suffer from chronic and serious injuries. He says that thirty percent of them do not follow the required instructions for taking their medications. There are many reasons for this, including that the disease may not cause symptoms to the patient, so he is lenient in adhering to the medication. He concludes by saying that reducing the risk of the third cause of death is in the hands of the patient. All he has to do is raise his voice and prevent anyone from tampering with his health.