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Adverse Events

Unintended Consequences of Care

An adverse event gets everything rolling.  Your stomach heaves, knees buckle, the world turns over, as you learn someone you love has died because something unexpected happened.

Adverse events describe unintended injuries or complications that result in disability, death or prolonged hospital stay and are caused by the care that patients receive, not an underlying condition or disease. 

When that surprise happens, everything changes. No one expects the adverse event. No one wants one to happen and no one plans for one.  But they do occur.  And when they do, reactions to such an occurrence vary from anger to apology, from grief to gruffness, from confusion to calamity. 

In the darkness of an adverse event, clear heads must prevail and as much as possible, efforts must be made to ensure this event never happens to someone else ever again.  Learning why it happened and how it happened is essential and bringing this information to light is vital.  Preventing the process breakdown or the breakdown in communication, training, machinery or whatever caused the event to occur, from repeating itself on some other family is part of the positive legacy you can create from the death of your loved one. 

Which is why all the stories about the event must be revealed, all the facts and all their interpretations must be brought forward for examination to ensure nothing is missed.  Only then can everyone be certain that the error has been corrected. Asking questions is the beginning.  

Reassurance of answers is cold comfort when someone loses a loved one. But sometimes answers and improvement is a great  effort worth making as a legacy of their death by an adverse event. 

An independent Patient Advocate can help you find the answers when the medical system fails you or your family.  Ask me about how to engage an Advocate. 








Posted in Patient Advocacy

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