What are some valuable hospital hacks everyone being admitted should know? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.
How to survive your hospitalization.
Most people feel that the equation to survive your hospitalization predominantly involves the expertise of your surgeon and the disease at hand.
In fact, there is a silent factor that contributes to a phenomenon that is increasingly gaining attention in the medical community, administrative leadership, insurance agencies and popular media: Death related to preventable errors. In To Err is Human, the Institute of Medicine concluded that between 44,000 to 98,000 Americans die each year as a result of medical errors. For comparison, deaths attributable to medical errors exceed those that die from motor vehicle accidents (43,458), breast cancer (42,297) and illicit drug use (17,000).
What can you do as a patient?
The following are suggestions as a fellow patient and current physician who spends most of my hours thinking of ways to minimize errors:
1. The central venous catheter.
This is the gateway into your bloodstream to sample blood and deliver medications. These catheters can be life-saving but, in the same breath, they can also be life-threatening. These indwelling catheters can easily deliver a much needed medication to your body, but they can just as easily introduce a bacterial or fungal infection systemically.