Every year, about 1.3 million people are harmed in the US as a result of medication errors. According to the National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention, medication error is any avoidable situation that may cause or contribute to improper drug use or patient injury while the medication is in the control of a medical professional, patient, or consumer. These events may be related to:
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) analyzes medication error reports that are released by drug manufacturers via MedWatch, the FDA's safety warning and undesirable event announcement service. The FDA also gathers information concerning medical errors from the Institute for Safe Medication Practices and US Pharmacopeia.
Based on research conducted by the FDA between 1993 and 1998 regarding fatal medication errors, the most common error was "improper drug dosage," occurring in an astounding 41 percent of the cases. Prescription of the wrong medication and utilizing the wrong route to administer the drug each accounted for 16 percent of the errors. Just under 50 percent of these deaths occurred in people older than 60. The elderly are more susceptible to medication error due to the greater daily prescription intake than other age brackets.
When a physician issues you a prescription, be sure that they inform you of the name of the medication, the optimal dosage, and the purpose of the drug. Make certain that you follow the instructions for each drug that you are taking (e.g., dosage amount, storage requirements, etc.). If you are at a hospital, request the name and the effects of every drug administered to you. Notify your physician of any prescription or over-the-counter drugs, dietary supplements, and herbal remedies that you currently take whenever you receive a new prescription. This will help avoid any complications that may arise from a combination of drugs such as an allergic reaction. Don't hesitate to ask questions; whether the name of the drug is unrecognizable, if the instructions are confusing, or the medicine does not look familiar in comparison to something you took before, let your physician know immediately. Clearing up any suspicions or misconceptions is a free and simple way to guarantee you do not fall victim to medication error.
If you believe that you have fallen victim to medication error, you may qualify to be compensated for your losses. Find out whether you qualify by contacting a Florida medical malpractice lawyer now.