When injured or ill, you depend on doctors to treat you. We leave it up to medical professionals to take care of us, and trust they are doing it right. But are doctors always reliable? According to a new study, nearly 20 percent of elderly patients were injured while receiving medical care.

Elderly Patients Injured Receiving Care

Naturally, elderly patients are more susceptible to injuries than younger patients. Isn’t it the doctor’s job to take care of every patient, no matter what age? Many of the injuries sustained were easily preventable, which means that they are being caused by the medical system and not from an underlying health problem.

Common mistakes that elderly patients have experienced include being given the wrong medication, having an allergic reaction to the medication or receiving poor quality care that led to further complications. Those who were injured had a death rate nearly double those who had not. The injuries also caused the patient’s health care costs to increase over the following year.

Not Just in Hospitals

The media tends to focus solely on injuries obtained in hospitals. However, two-thirds of injuries occurred while the patient was at their doctor’s office.

Unfortunately, similar problems have occurred before. Previous studies found that 13.5 percent of hospitalized patients have suffered adverse medical events. Another study found that 19 percent of seniors reported harm by medical care.

The studies also found that men, people with lower incomes and people with disabilities were also at risk of getting injured at the hands of a doctor. A physician that has been in practice for over 30 years claimed that he has witnessed conventional medicine kill more lives than it saves or helps. Preventable errors unfortunately account for a large amount of deaths in the US.

A study from 2013 found that 210,000 Americans were killed by preventable hospital errors. This number does not include diagnostic errors, errors of omission or failure to follow guidelines. Incorporating these factors causes the number of deaths to double. The most recent study found that two-thirds of medical errors occurred outside of hospitals, meaning the death toll is actually much higher than these estimates.

The Kaiser Health Foundation found that elderly patients at least 65 years of age will fill about 31 prescriptions per year, not including over-the-counter drugs. Taking too many drugs is extremely dangerous, especially for elderly patients. In the last 20 years, the amount of deaths due to unintentional drug overdoses have increased significantly.

If you are elderly and taking a prescription drug, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you take over-the-counter drugs?
  • Do you take medicine more than once a day?
  • Do you have arthritis?
  • Do you use more than one pharmacy to fill prescriptions?
  • Do you have poor hearing or vision?

If you answered yes to any of the questions, you may be at risk of overdosing. If this is the case, be cautious about the medical care you receive. Often times, the symptoms of an overdose are associated with other health problems. This would cause the doctor to prescribe even more drugs, thus doing more harm than good.

As an elderly patient, it is imperative that you are receiving quality care from the best doctors to prevent any mistakes from occurring. The doctors at Las Vegas Urgent Care can provide the proper treatment you need to get better. For more information about health care in Las Vegas, contact 702.852.2000.

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