How to Prevent Medication Errors
Medication errors are mistakes that occur when prescribing, acquiring, and taking medications. These cause multiple problems in thousands of people worldwide. Medication errors can have a wide variety of effects ranging from mild inconveniences to serious health problems. As such, it is necessary to try to prevent these types of mistakes from occurring.
Causes and Effects of Medication Errors
Most people believe that medication errors involve just taking the wrong type of medicine, but the problem extends far beyond just that. These errors also encompass mistakes in dispensing and administering medicine. If the physician or pharmacy is to blame for giving you the wrong medication or dosage of the medication, it can be considered medical malpractice and you can hold them responsible for your injuries. Some of the most common causes of medication errors are:
- Incorrect type and dose of medicine: Taking the incorrect type or dose of medicine can be due to a misdiagnosis or other human errors.
- Incorrect administration of medicine: Some medications need to be taken orally, others intravenously, while others inhaled. Taking in medicine the wrong way is also a type of medication error.
- Errors in dispensing: There are cases where the type of medication given by the doctor or pharmacist is incorrect.
- Poor communication: Many medicines sound very similar to each other. Poor communication can lead to giving the wrong medicine.
Medication errors can also cause several problems in patients. These problems depend on the type of medicine given and the amount administered. Some of the most common effects of these errors are:
- Physical injury: Physical injuries are the most common effects of medication errors. These can range from simple inconveniences like headaches to more severe consequences.
- Unnecessary expenses: Buying and taking the wrong type of medication will require you to buy the proper ones. These will lead to unnecessary costs. Treating physical injuries that result from medication errors also necessitates money.
- Death: The most serious cases of medication errors can lead to death. It usually depends on the type of medicine or the status of the patient.
Follow These 6 Simple Tips To Prevent Medication Errors
The best way to avoid injuries is to prevent medication errors. Here are some ideas you should consider:
- Communicate with your doctor properly.
Don’t be scared to ask your doctor about any questions that you may have. Open communication with your doctor is the best way of preventing medication errors from happening.
- Put everything into writing.
Do not just rely on memory when you talk to your doctor. Be sure to take down notes about anything that you think is important. Some of the things to take down are the following:
- Dose of the medicine
- How often you should take the medicine
- Details on how the medications should be taken
- Other pertinent information
Don’t forget to ask your doctor about how accurate your notes are before your consultation ends. Incorrect notes can lead to further problems later on.
- Coordinate with your pharmacist.
Make sure that you coordinate with your pharmacist about the medication. Show your pharmacist the doctor’s prescription slip and ask questions about the medicine.
- Keep all your medications organized.
It helps to have your own little ways of keeping your medicines organized. Some simple but useful ways include the following:
- Pill organizers: Pill organizers are available in drugstores. These are handy little boxes that separate your pills by type or by day.
- Proper labels: Label your medicines correctly. It helps to print out or write larger labels to prevent confusion.
If you have elderly relatives or ones with poor eyesight, try to help them out. Partition their medications or print out large labels for them to see.
- Remember that your prescriptions are for you alone.
Never give anyone else your prescriptions or medications. Doctors determine prescriptions on an individual basis. What works for you may not work for someone else, even if you are prescribed the same medicines.
- Know the brand name and the generic name.
Many medication errors come from people getting confused with medication names. Make sure that you know both the brand name and generic name to be safe.
Were You Involved in an Incident Regarding Medication Errors?
Do you have reason to believe that the fault of the medication error was not yours? If you or your loved ones have been affected by these medication errors, you may press charges. Medication errors cause a lot of problems, and these need to be addressed with more medications. That can be rather expensive. Luckily, your claim could help you pay for these expenses.
Contact The Clark Law Office for help with the incident. We have the most experienced personal injury attorneys in Lansing and we have helped hundreds of victims of gross negligence. Call us at +1 (517) 347-6900 at your earliest convenience.