It may have already happened to you.
A new study published Johns Hopkins Medicine recently found that medical errors contribute to so many fatalities in the United States that it should rank as the third-leading cause of death in the country. The researchers said the problem is being kept from the public, partially due to how deaths are reported and tracked.
At least 50 medication mix-ups recently prompted the Food and Drug Administration to issue a warning to the public. Specifically, the warning pertains to two drugs with very similar-sounding names: Brintellix and Brilinta.
Blood thinners play an important role in the lives of many people. When properly prescribed and used, blood thinners can help prevent blood clots that can result in heart attacks and strokes. But as we wrote in a previous blog post, if not properly administered, these drugs can also be very dangerous.
Without the correct medications, many people would suffer greatly due to illnesses and conditions. Medications can help ease pain, battle symptoms and get us back on our feet so we can get on with our daily lives. But the same medications that are supposed to help can also do harm if they are incorrectly prescribed or are not taken as directed.
We live in a get-it-done-now world. People are very busy and want to have their needs met as quickly as possible. And while some businesses, such as fast food restaurants, may lend themselves well to the quick service model, others may not.
When we are not feeling our best, we may seek relief through the use of prescription drugs. We often have high expectations that such drugs will fix our problems without complications. Perhaps these expectations are created by the many advertisements touting the amazing healing capacities of certain medications currently on the market.
We live in an age of medical miracles. Due to advances in medicine, there are more drugs that can help treat illnesses and conditions than ever before. On the whole this is a very good thing as drugs developed in the labs of pharmaceutical companies have helped alleviate a great deal of human suffering.
Anticoagulant drugs, or drug thinners, as they are known, are prescribed to help prevent blood clots. Blood clots are dangerous because they can cause strokes or heart attacks. But as beneficial as these drugs may be, they can also pose very serious health threats if they are not taken correctly.