Have you all seen the latest article from CNN titled "Don't Become the Victim of a Surgical Error"? The article contains some good information, and, as patients and families, we should follow the steps listed.
But (and you knew there would be a but), the hair on the back of my neck always stands up when I read something like this. In the article, it does refer to the fact that these steps lessen the chance of a medical error happening. I feel, though, the story implies that if we follow a few simple steps, we can control our own medical outcomes. I did all those things prior to my surgery 9 years ago, and there was still an anesthesia complication that nearly took my life (see Linda's Story).
This past year, when I finally got my ankle replacement, I ended up with a post-op infection that I believe could have been avoided, but the systems in place made it impossible for that to happen. I ended up with two more hospitalizations, confined to bed with my foot elevated for three months, and on IV antibiotics for 7 weeks. I tried to advocate for myself, but the pharmacy and my insurance company made it impossible. With both experiences, I was left with the woulda, coulda, shoulda feelings that are quite normal after these types of events.
Is this a set up for people to think that if they do all the right things, they will be safe? So, I ask you, what do you think of the article?