In order to take charge of your health care, and protect and defend those you love, it is essential that you understand what needs to be done when having elective surgery:
1. Obtain a Second Opinion from a doctor that is not associated with the medical group that recommended the surgery.
2. Discuss Your Surgery with the Anesthesiologist Assisting Your Surgeon During the Operation. It is important for you to inform the doctor of your past experience, or problems, with anesthesia. Find out whether they will be giving you local, or general anesthetic; ask what the difference is between them, and what side effects may occur as a result.
3. Make Sure You Do Not Schedule Your Surgery on a Friday, or on the Weekend. You really don’t want to be having a complication when most doctors are off, and skeleton shifts are on duty.
4. Donate Your Blood to a Blood Bank In Case You Will Need A Transfusion. It is the best gift of life you could give yourself. Your own blood protects you against infectious diseases, and may also provide stem cells for future use.
5. Ask Your Doctor if You Should Stop Your Medications, or Over-the-Counter Drugs Prior to Surgery. Some medications may make you bleed more, or cause serious interactions. Over-the-counter includes herbal, and dietary supplements, as well.
6. Contact Family and Friends to Make Sure You Have a Patient Advocate is With You At All Times. It has been documented there are three times daily when errors occur: Admission (Check-in), Shift Changes, and leave the hospital (discharge).
7. Ask to Meet With Your Surgeon Prior to Surgery to Find Out What to Expect During and After Your Surgery. Make sure to bring a family member, or friend with you. Ask for instructions, and post-operative information in writing, or if reading is a problem, request permission to tape record.
8. It is Your Body and You Have Rights! If you are treated unfairly, or disrespectfully, or feel the doctor does not know what he, or she is doing, ask, “Who is in charge of your care.” Many medical residents, who are responsible for patients, may need the assistance of a more experienced doctor, or supervising physician. Speak up if problems arise.
9. Bring a List of Medications You Are Taking, or Bring All Your Medications to the Hospital With You. It is one of the most important facts medical providers need in order to make health care decisions for you.
10. You MUST Ask Everyone Who Treats You to WASH HIS, OR HER HANDS, and USE STERILE GLOVES because 50% of Doctors and Nurses Do Not Wash Their Hands, or Their Medical Equipment. Bring Clorex wipes to clean bedrails, phones, bathroom handles, tray, TV remote, or anything patient will be touching. Two dangerous infections, MRSA and c.diff are contracted by thousands of people a day in hospitals, health facilities, nursing homes and back in the community in America.
If you follow these 10 lifesaving tips when you, or your family are Preparing for Elective Surgery, you may lessen the chance of error.