Medical Mistakes You Shouldn't Make

Many of us take medication without prescriptions and some don't follow doctor's orders when it comes to taking meds. I was reading Woman's Day last night and found a very helpful article by Francesca Kritz about 25 medical mistakes we shouldn't make. Read on because she listed the most common things that most of us do.

1) Never forget to complete a course of antibiotics or taken a break from your high blood pressure medication. If you think a few days won't matter, you could be playing Russian Roulette with your health.

2) Not telling your doctor about all the drugs [both prescription and OTC], supplements and herbal products you take. Telling your doctor can help him spot any problems or dangerous interactions.

3) Forgetting to tell your doctor about any allergies or adverse reactions you've had to a medication.

4) Not looking at a written prescription, be sure you read it before you leave the doctor's office.

5) Not reading the directions on the prescription label or asking questions before you leave the pharmacy.

6) Not telling the truth about your habits or symptoms.

7) Ignoring symptoms that may indicate an emergency.

8) Not bringing a pen and paper to an office visit to write down instructions and information.

9) Not getting copies of test results from your doctor and filling them in an accessible place at home.

10) Not having regular screenings for cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as regular pap smears, mammograms and other important health tests.

11) Failing to get a flu shot.

12) Not using sun screens correctly. Sunscreens should have an SPF of 30 or higher and also contain UVA screen. It tales 20 minutes to properly penetrate the skin, so put them 30 minutes before any anticipated sun exposure and reapply every hour, or even more frequently if you're actively perspiring or swimming.

13) Ignoring and/or self-treating vaginal infections.

14) Failing to check the reliability of an online medical resource.

15) Not setting up an emergency contact on your cellphone or home phone speed dial. Store contact under the name "ICE" which stands for In Case of Emergency. Many paramedics and emergency room physician have begun to look for that name first.

16) Using email to communicate with your doctor in an emergency. Don't assume your doctor is checking his computer all day long, most are not.

17) Being embarrassed to ask your doctor about a treatment or study you read online.

18) Failing to check your electronic record to be sure it contains correct information about you and your family.

19) Not asking everyone who has direct contact with you to wash their hands, if they don't immediately do so.

20) Not asking your doctor about your post-hospital treatment plan.

21) Making sure before surgery that you and your doctors are all aware of the procedure that needs to be done.

22) Not asking a friend or a family member to be with you at the hospital to help ask questions or take down information.

23) Failing to check with your insurer to find out if you need prior approval before having a medical procedure or test.

24) Not asking if there are alternatives to surgery, or alternative ways to perform it.

25) Failing to get a second opinion. Unless the doctor says you're at risk for sudden death, second opinions are valuable to help you decide on treatment.

Mommy's Little Corner


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Unknown said…
Liza, great post!

Thanks, I have to check the insurance for something, and I almost forgot it.

Have a great week!
Anonymous said…
Have a great weekend ahead!!
Jackie said…
This was a good one for me today Liza!

I took my last evil pill this morning. that's right I said evil...steroids are awful!!

And if I don't feel better in a couple of days I will be seeking a second opinion!!:-)
I am always terrible about finishing the antibiotics.
foongpc said…
This is a very good reminder, especially the one on the antibiotics. From what I know, if you don't complete the course of antibiotics the doctor gave you, the bacteria will get resistant to that antibiotic and if you get attacked by these stronger bacteria the next time, the current antibiotic will no longer be effective. You'll end up taking a stronger dose of antibiotics and if you keep doing this, one day no antibiotics will be able to kill those super bacterias.
Anonymous said…
dropping some ec here
Anonymous said…
Please forgive me but I have to disagree with this: 11) Failing to get a flu shot.

Flu shots are rarely effective. They only protect against one strain of flu, in spite of the different strains that exist every year. They can also cause a devastating and potentially life threatening side effect known as Guillian-Barre Syndrome. A friend of mine's 6yr old sister went from happy and healthy to in ICU at Children's Hospital, paralyzed and on a respirator, within two days from GBS. She was one of the lucky ones and fully recovered but it took months of intensive rehab. She had to learn how to walk and eat all over again. You can find more about GBS and it's chronic variant known as Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (a neurological disorder with no cure that I have) at

Urging anyone to get any kind of vaccine without first researching all of the potential side effects and weighing the pros and cons of whether or not it's right for you is a medical mistake you shouldn't make.

Once again, please forgive me for my comment but I just had to post. I know how devastating GBS can be and it's not something I want anyone to have to experience.
LifeRamblings said…
yeah, medical mistakes will affect a person's health and end up in messy consequences.
Hi! I'm Ruby said…
thanks for this post. this is very helpful. :)
Anonymous said…
Great post. I think #17 is especially important! Your average doctor is not constantly updating themselves on new medical news. That's why it's important to do some of your own research, and even if you find something that proves to be ridiculous, at least you know you're actively trying to do the best you can for yourself!
Macy said…
I must admit that I am guilty of these mistakes most especially the first one the list. As soon as the condition gets better, I stop taking antibiotics and would not bother to complete the entire prescription period.