When you go to the hospital, you trust that the doctors and health professionals will work together to take proper care of you. You take the medications they give you in their prescribed orders believing it is the correct medication and dose.
But, medical professionals are human, and humans make mistakes. An error in medication type or dose could be harmful, or even deadly. In fact, every year 7,000 to 9,000 people die in the United States due to complications from medication errors.
Read on for more information about prescription errors, and what to do if you or your loved one is a victim.
Medication errors are the wrong use or administration of a medication that harms the patient. Unfortunately, they are most often the result of preventable human error.
Doctors, nurses, and pharmacists are usually involved in prescribing, dispensing, and administering drugs to patients. Medication errors can happen at any of the following points:
You are more likely to suffer because of a health professional’s error while prescribing drugs than any other medication error. Prescription errors account for nearly 50% of all medication errors.
Prescription errors can occur because a healthcare provider wrote:
These are errors that occur in the process of giving you the medications. It can be as a result of:
This includes failing to monitor a patient to gauge their reaction to drugs, or knowing when to stop or switch to a different drug. Monitoring errors also include failing to notice or document a patient’s allergic reaction to drugs or drug interactions.
Some prescription drugs need to be formulated or reconstituted before they are given to patients. An example of an error in drug preparation is diluting the medication with a diluent volume that is higher or lower than needed. This is more common in drugs given intravenously.
The general reason medication errors occur is negligence by health providers. These include:
Medication errors are quite common. Consider the following rates for medication and prescription errors in the U.S.:
Medication errors are usually difficult to spot, because if you are taking medication, you are already dealing with a health condition. However, if you have some of these symptoms, it might be a sign that something has gone wrong:
If you or your loved one have suffered from a medication error, or you suspect it, take the following steps:
Seek medical help: Get medical help to understand exactly what is wrong and to treat any complications you have.
Document the treatment: Take note of the history of your illness and all the treatments you have received. Keep track of the medications, the dosage, and how and when you take them. Also, take note of the names of medical providers that attended to you.
Request a copy of your medical report: Ensure it contains every treatment and test you took.
Consult a medical malpractice attorney: As soon as you suspect something is wrong with the medical care you are receiving, consider contacting an attorney. A medical malpractice attorney will help you understand what happened and will take the necessary steps to help you seek compensation for the harm you have experienced.
The car medical malpractice lawyers at D’Amore Personal Injury Law have handled various cases of medication errors. We will work with you to discover what went wrong, and to help you pursue fair compensation for your injuries. Contact us today to see if you have a case.
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