It's back-to-school time, which means school sports and sports accidents.
The biggest fear of parents who have children in sports is that their child will be injured. That's what happened to a Chicago area father whose 13 year-old son was hit head-on at football practice. He and his girlfriend rushed the boy to the ER, where doctors began a series of x-rays and examinations. As the couple waited anxiously for a diagnosis, one of the physicians asked what medications the child was allergic to, but never once asked if the teen was currently on any medications. When the doctors came back with a treatment recommendation, the father's girlfriend informed them that the teen takes a prescribed medication on a regular basis. Now that the doctors had this information, they realized that the medication they were going to give to the teen could have had serious side affects. It was a good thing that the girlfriend knew to ask.
What would you do if your child is injured and you have to take them to the hospital? How do you avoid medical errors? How do you avoid medication errors? How do you take a proactive role in your child's care and serve as their advocate? These questions, and more, are answered in a new film called Things You Should Know Before Entering the Hospital. This film gives viewers a step-by-step guide based on the advice and experiences of experts and real patients. It also answers the question: How can you avoid infection? Reports from the CDC estimate that as many as two million patients contract an infection from U. S. hospitals or medical centers each year, accounting for 90,000 deaths.
In the film, patients and their advocates are advised to ask the following seven important questions each time a member of the hospital staff prescribes or brings medication:
1. What is this medicine for?
2. Who prescribed it?
3. When am I supposed to take it?
4. How am I supposed to take it… how often, for how long?
5. What side effects are likely? What do I do if they occur?
6. Is this medicine safe to take with other medicines or dietary supplements?
7. What food, drink or activities should I avoid while on this medicine?
"Human error is a fact in healthcare just as in the rest of life, and we all must be educated on what to be watchful of regarding things that might go wrong, " said Martin J. Hatlie, Esq. , former lobbyist for the American Medical Association and President of Partnership for Patient Safety. “The film, Things you should know before entering the hospital, is an exceptional safety guide for everyone who is a patient or takes care of one. Watch it and learn what we all need to know to prevent injuries and save lives. "
The film should be viewed by the patient as well as their family and friends. It stresses the importance of having someone with you around the clock as your advocate for the entire length of your hospital stay. Available on DVD and VHS video tape for $29.95 at http://www.patientsafetyvideo.com , Things you should know before entering the hospital gives valuable insight into the potential hazards of the hospital visits without instilling fear or blame. The film is direct, to the point and narrated by Emmy-award-winning actor Ben Hollis. Ben's affable approach engages viewers through his unique sense of compassion and caring humor. Most significantly, it educates and informs. The filmmakers have included a comprehensive checklist in each DVD/video so that patients can have a quick guide to take with them in the event they have to go into the hospital.
Betty Hoeffner is a freelance writer who writes on a variety of subjects.