According to a May, 2016 study in the British Medical Journal, medical error is the third leading cause of death in the United States after heart disease and cancer. (1) The authors of this study estimated that in 2013, over 250,000 U.S. hospitalized patients died due to medical errors. Keep in mind that these numbers do not include outpatient services. Therefore, the overall iatrogenic death risk is vastly underestimated.
What can you do? First, it is important to take charge of your medical decisions. You must take responsibility for all of your medical decisions. You know your body better than anyone else. Therefore, you should be an active participant in your medical care. If you cannot make these decisions, you should have an advocate who can monitor your situation when you are hospitalized.
Also, when you are hospitalized, it is crucial to ask what each pill is for and why any procedure was ordered. Every single time. If you don’t ask the appropriate questions, you are exposing yourself to unnecessary testing in addition to possibly taking a medication that was inadvertently or inappropriately prescribed for you.
Hospitals are busy places where the nurses and other personnel are vastly understaffed. Unfortunately, hospital errors are far too common. It is best to question everything when you are in a hospital.
The best advice I can give you is to educate yourself. Educate yourself about eating a healthy diet. Learn about how to stay healthy. Understand the importance of maintaining optimal nutritional levels. If you take an active role in promoting your own health, you will lesson your chances of being prescribed pharmaceutical medications.