Medical malpractice can arise at any point during the diagnosis and/or treatment process. Given, however, that the delivery of medications to patients can involve the interplay of various medical professionals (and facilities), medications errors have become a more prominent form of malpractice these days – and researchers expect that these errors will increase over the next decade or so.
Medication Errors Defined
A medication error is any preventable occurrence that leads to patients receiving the wrong amounts and/or types of medication, according to the National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention.
Most Common Causes of Medication Errors
The two most common causes of medication errors in the U.S. include:
- Delivering an improper dose of the medication to patients – According to the FDA, more than 40 percent of the medication error reports received through its MedWatch system (and that are related to fatal incidents) were also related to giving patients the wrong doses of medications. About half of these reports were related to patients who were 60 or older.
- Giving patients the wrong type of drugs, which increases the risk of fatality significantly.
How to Protect Yourself from Medication Errors
While studies have yet to identify at what point the mistakes leading to medication errors are usually made (e.g., in the writing of prescriptions, the transfer of prescriptions to pharmacies, filing the prescriptions, etc.), here’s you can do to protect yourself and minimize your chances of being hurt by medication errors:
- Know what medications you are currently taking (including types and doses).
- Double check written prescriptions with doctors before getting them filled at pharmacies.
- Check filled prescriptions (after picking them up from pharmacies) to ensure they are the proper medication and dose).
- Talk to pharmacists and doctors about potential side effects.
- Seek immediate medical attention if you start to develop any adverse reactions to taking new medications.
Mount Vernon Medical Malpractice Lawyers at the Law Firm of Hassakis & Hassakis, P.C.
Have you or a loved one been hurt by medication errors or by any type of medical negligence? If so, the experienced and trusted Mount Vernon medical malpractice lawyers at the Law Firm of Hassakis & Hassakis, P.C. are ready to stand up for your rights.
Since 1950, we have been providing the highest quality legal services and representation to our clients. Our trusted attorneys focus on our clients’ needs, we are passionate about our clients, and we do everything we can to help them get the maximum possible compensation for their losses and injuries so they can focus on recovery and moving on with their life.
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