Medication Errors 101

Medication errors cause injury to nearly 1.3 million Americans each year and cause at least one death each day, according to the FDA. From miswritten prescriptions to improper administration of medication, there are a number of ways for errors to occur.

What is a Medication Error?

DSC08554-bThe National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention defines a medication error 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 health care professional, patient, or consumer. Such events may be related to professional practice, health care products, procedures, and systems, including prescribing, order communication, product labeling, packaging, and nomenclature, compounding, dispensing, distribution, administration, education, monitoring, and use.”

Medication errors can cause a number of personal injuries. It’s important to make sure that you and your loved are taking any prescribed and/or over the counter medications safely.

Prevent Medication Errors

Good communication with your physician, pharmacist, and any other health care professionals that you and your loved ones rely upon is essential. Don’t be afraid to ask about why a medication has been recommended, what side effects to expects, what you should look out for, and any potential interactions with medications/vitamins/supplements that you currently use.

Read the label and be sure that you are taking/providing the recommended dosage at the proper intervals. Is the medication supposed to be taken on an empty stomach or with food? Should it be taken once in the morning and again before bed, once a day, or more frequently? Will caffeine or alcohol interact negatively with the medication or decrease effectiveness?

If your loved one is in a nursing home facility, it is especially important to speak with staff to be sure that they understand when and how to administer medication. Be an advocate for your loved one by communicating on their behalf.

If you or a loved one has suffered from a medication error due to prescription error, incorrect prescription fill, or another preventable issue, contact the Schuerman Law office today. Schuerman Law has been working with personal injury claims for over 40 years. John Schuerman will compassionately advocate for injured individuals as well as their families while fighting for full compensation of their claims. Schuerman Law offers evening and weekend appointments in addition to home and hospital visits. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 1-800-274-0045.