Q. Last year I was hospitalized after lying dehydrated in the ER for 18 hours while waiting for a room. I was admitted with the wrong diagnosis and given the wrong treatment (which included a broad spectrum antibiotic). Then I was discharged with a C. diff infection.
The drugs to treat the C. diff. cost $5,600 and when I received a bill for an unknown “service” beyond what my insurance paid, I asked for an itemized bill. My insurance had been billed fraudulently. Even though I am a nurse, I was a helpless victim while I was ill.
A. If a nurse can be misdiagnosed and mistreated, then it can happen to anyone. Hundreds of thousands of patients are harmed or killed each year because of mistakes in hospitals and outpatient surgical centers.
When you are sick, it is hard to protect yourself from errors. That’s why everyone should take an advocate to the hospital, so you have someone to ask key questions. We outline the questions and common mistakes in our book, Top Screwups Doctors Make and How to Avoid Them (in libraries and online at www.PeoplesPharmacy.com).
Clostridium difficile (C. diff) is a hard-to-treat infection that often causes unremitting diarrhea. Hospitals are breeding grounds for C. diff, which can become life threatening.