Medications are one of the best tools of modern medicine and can ease pain, cure infectious diseases, and prevent problems from chronic diseases. However, if medicine is not administered, prescribed, or dispensed correctly, the health of an innocent patient may be put in danger. Medication errors such as these cause injuries to more than 1 million people in the U.S. each year, though astonishingly most are preventable. A medication error leads to medications being used inappropriately or it may also cause a harmful reaction in a patient, and examples include prescribing the wrong drug or administering an improper dose of medicine.
A medication error can occur anywhere, including your own home, but they frequently occur in doctor’s offices, hospitals, or pharmacies. But what causes a potentially dangerous medication error? The most common causes include: illegible prescriptions or confusing directions, poor communication between patients and healthcare providers, or similar sounding medication names and medical abbreviations. The best way to prevent a medication error is effective communication, and knowledge is certainly your best defense.
The following are different tips to keep in mind on your next medical visit that may prevent an accident and protect your health:
- Tell your healthcare provider the names of all medications you are taking, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements, and any medications you are allergic to or that have caused you problems before. This can prevent an adverse drug interaction.
- When your doctor gives you a new prescription, have him or her tell you the name of the drug, the correct dosage, and what the drug is used for. Be sure you understand the directions for any medicine, including proper storage and any special instructions.
- Never be afraid to ask questions! Asking questions when you are confused or suspicious of something, such as the directions appearing different than you thought or the pills or medications looking different than you expected, is the best way to prevent a serious error.
The medication error attorneys in Omaha of Cullan & Cullan, LLC are also physicians, and therefore have a greater understanding of the damage a medication error can cause to a patient. Our legal team is wholly committed to protecting the rights of patients harmed as a result of a medical professional’s negligence and will work diligently to ensure you receive the full amount of compensation you need to heal. Schedule your free consultation by calling (402) 397-7600.