Medication errors occur, which can lead to a serious medical incident or even death. Many medication errors are preventable and can be attributed to the negligence of medical professionals.
Statistics from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality note that adverse drug events lead to almost 700,000 hospital emergency departments visits and roughly 100,000 hospitalizations. An estimated half of all adverse drug events are preventable.
Common Reasons for Medication Errors
Some of the more common reasons for medication errors include:
- The wrong medication prescribed.
- Administering the wrong dosage of the correct prescription drug.
- Medication that interacts with other prescription drugs:
A patient may be taking multiple prescriptions, leading to harmful side effects. In some cases, the prescribed medication may interact with food, supplements as well as over-the-counter medication
- Unclear labeling that confuses the patient.
Ways to Prevent Medication Errors
- Trusted health care professionals such as primary care physicians, surgeons, nurses, and pharmacists, can make mistakes that lead to drastic consequences for their patients. Be sure to confirm the name and correct dosage of your medication with your doctor.
- Make sure to confirm that the medication is correct upon pickup.
- Understand the directions of the medication.
- Some medications need to be refrigerated, taken with food, or fasted. Understanding the instructions is important to avoid medication errors.
- Keep medication stored in their original containers.
- Many medications look similar. Keeping them in their original containers avoids taking the wrong medication.
- Be cautious about the risk of taking certain medications together.
- If you have any questions regarding your medication, consult your doctor.
- The Food and Drug Administration suggests reporting any suspected medication errors.
The consumer plays an important role. Doctors and pharmacists are susceptible to making mistakes when prescribing or dispensing medications. Ensuring that your medication is correct aids in reducing medication errors.
If you or your loved one has experienced a medication error, an Arizona attorney may be able to help. Contact us online to request a complimentary consultation about your potential claim.