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How to protect yourself from the killing season at hospitals

On Behalf of | May 14, 2024 | Medical Malpractice

Every July 1, hospitals in the United States get an influx of employees – newly graduated nurses and doctors begin their residencies.

It’s probably no surprise that there’s a correspondence between that new wave of employees and a rise in medical mistakes. The so-called “July Effect” is also known, colloquially, as “the killing season.”

If you have chronic health problems that require frequent hospitalization or you’re just concerned about what might go wrong if you have an emergency, it pays to be aware of the situation and have a plan. Here’s how you can protect yourself:

1. Take a list

Carry a list of your conditions, medications, their dosages and the names of your prescribers with you. Also, include a list of any known drug allergies you may have.

2. Bring someone

If you’re sick enough to require emergency treatment or hospitalization, you may not be in the best position to advocate for yourself. Having a trusted friend or relative with you to ask questions and provide support can be invaluable.

3. Ask questions

If something doesn’t seem right or feel right, speak up. It’s well known, for example, that medication errors increase by about 10% right after the July influx of new employees, so make certain that you understand what medications are being put into your body and why – before you permit the provider to administer it.

4. Make noise

It’s okay to offer the new medical graduates a measure of grace as they learn on the go – but not to the detriment of your own health. If you feel like your treatment is substandard, don’t hesitate to report your concerns to the hospital’s patient advocacy office and ask for additional support.

When something goes wrong in a hospital setting, it’s always smart to consider the possibility that medical malpractice has occurred. Seeking personalized legal guidance can help.