No doctor is perfect, and mistakes do happen. Most of the time there are no long lasting effects, but sometimes, mistakes are life threatening.
There are things you can do to avoid being on the wrong end of a medical mistake. Mistakes tend to occur because physicians and health care providers are in a rush, overworked and often times they are misinformed. A simple lab error can lead to a terrible mix up.
Experts estimate one out of 500 people admitted tot he hospital is killed by a mistake. But the estimate may be low because a lot of mistakes are never reported.
Doctors say the best way to prevent mistakes is to get a second opinion, especially if a doctor recommends surgery or some invasive procedure.
In addition to getting a second opinion, experts say it's important to ask questions. Make sure the doctor explains your diagnosis and treatment options. Also keep a list of all your medications and make sure to get the result from any test you've had.