Medication Errors: Tips To Reduce The Risk
Johns Hopkins researchers say that medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death in the United States. One of the leading causes of medical mistakes in this country are errors made concerning medications. At Brown, Moore & Associates, PLLC, our medical malpractice attorneys in Charlotte want to discuss some tips to help reduce the risk of patients being harmed by a medication mistake.
Reducing Medication Errors As A Patient
Medication errors occur at alarming rates in the healthcare setting. This often results in a patient receiving the wrong medication, receiving the wrong dosage of their medication, or not receiving their medication at all. According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a medication error is defined as “any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the medication is in the control of the healthcare professional, patient, or consumer.”
To be sure, it is up to medical providers such as doctors and nurses to ensure that they properly prescribe and administer medications.
As a patient, you can also take some steps to reduce the risk of medication errors.
- Bring a list of your current medications: For every doctor or hospital visit, try to bring a complete list of all medications you are currently taking. It is a good idea to have all your medications and dosages written down and kept on you at all times.
- Be sure to give an honest medical history: Without a complete and honest medical history, a doctor may end up prescribing a medication that could cause you harm. Doctors are better able to treat you if they have complete information.
- Ask about the medications you are given: Make sure that you know about every medication you are given in a healthcare facility. There is nothing wrong with asking the doctor or nurse about what they are giving you. Your question may end up helping, especially if they are about to administer the wrong medication or the wrong dosage of a medication.
Outside Of The Healthcare Setting
Once a patient leaves the hospital, there is still a risk of medical errors occurring. In many cases, the list of medications a patient leaves with is not correct. We recommend to all patients and their family members that they double-check the medication list with a nurse or doctor before leaving the healthcare facility.
Once you obtain your prescriptions, make sure that the medications you receive match the list you left the healthcare facility with and that the dosage is on the medication is correct. If you have any questions at any time, talk to your pharmacist or call your doctor before consuming the medication.
We Can Help You With This Case
If you or somebody you love has been injured due to the negligence of a medical professional, you may be entitled to significant compensation. At Brown, Moore & Associates, PLLC, we have vast experience handling these types of cases and will work to secure the compensation you are entitled to. This could include:
- Compensation for any medical expenses related to the mistake
- Coverage of lost wages if you are unable to work
- Loss of enjoyment of life damages
- Pain and suffering damages
- Possible punitive damages against the negligent medical provider or agency