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Health Tip: Avoid Medical Mistakes

-- Sometimes, there's nothing you can do to avoid a medical error.

But the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons says that's not always the case. Here are steps you can take to reduce your risk of a medical error at the doctor's office or hospital:

  • Ask plenty of questions, especially about tests, medications or other treatments you receive.
  • Confirm that each health care worker you see knows your medical history, including any allergies and medications you take.
  • Bring along a friend or family member to help ensure that your care is safe and effective.
  • Check your prescriptions at the pharmacy to be sure they're correct.
  • Request that any staff member administering your medications looks at your hospital ID bracelet each time.
  • Ask staff to wash their hands before they examine or touch you.
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Posted: November 2010