The Dangers of Prescription Errors

Here Are Some Of The Dangers of Prescription Errors

The majority of people in the country look towards their physicians, and even pharmacists, as professionals who can be trusted with their lives. Honestly, this is usually the case, and anyone suffering from any type of medical condition should seek professional help. Unfortunately, there are times when mistakes are made. Some of the most potentially disastrous mistakes involve medication errors. Due to the possible repercussions of these types of mistakes, it's vital for a person to know how to react if these errors do ever occur

Presription Errors Dangers

There are always potential side-effects inherent to any drug, but injuries sustained from prescription drugs are more often than not a result of a medication error by a doctor or pharmacist. There are those out there, for instance, who are allergic to an ingredient in a certain medication. If a doctor fails to review a patient's chart and catch this, the patient can have a serious allergic reaction

Additionally, pharmacists and doctors alike should review the other medications that a patient is on. Some drugs, which are completely safe when taken on their own, can, become potentially fatal if mixed with certain other medications

One of the most commonly known interactions is the possibility that birth control pills will stop working while a person is taking antibiotics; but with serious side-effects like cardiac arrest, coma and even death possible, an unintended pregnancy may not be the worst possible outcome when it comes to drug interactions.

Statistics Related to Medication and Prescription Errors

The statistics related to prescription errors are disheartening to say the least. It's estimated that, on average, preventable medication errors cost between $2 billion and $3.5 billion in extended hospital stays, malpractice settlements, and other issues related to the negligent act. Some studies have shown that prescribing errors make up the bulk of medication mistakes (70%). It's also important to note, however, that administration errors (10%), dispensing errors (7%), documentation errors (7%) and even monitoring errors (3%) are part of the problem as well.

Unfortunately, the human toll is the most demoralizing. Some studies have estimated, on the conservative end, that a minimum of 1.5 million individuals are injured due to medication errors each year. Sadly, around 100,000 of these individuals actually die from their injury. While many of these mistakes happen in private practices, it's estimated that no fewer than 400,000 injuries related to medication errors occur within hospitals every year. According to, “Solutions may include bar coding of medications and equipment, Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) systems, and smart pumps.&rdquo

Getting Help When the Worst happens

Unfortunately, a medication error isn't always easily recognizable. Fortuitously, medication mistakes caused by misdiagnosis and even minor drug interactions aren't often fatal. It's still important, however, to seek medical attention if one suspects that something is amiss with their prescription. Experiencing new symptoms, unusual side-effects or a lack of improvement of a condition are all telltale signs that another trip to the doctor may be in order

Doctors, however, aren't the only professionals that should be contacted after a medication error. When an injury actually occurs because of these errors, the medical bills related to treatment can quickly become unmanageable. In some instances, a seemingly simple mistake can lead to the necessity of a lifetime of care. It becomes imperative for a person to seek out an attorney when this type of error occurs to them. This is their best chance of being financially compensated for their injury and all of the hardships related to it.

These statistics and potentialities should never dissuade a person from seeking medical help. An individual has a far better chance of being seriously injured by an untreated illness than they do of being injured by a medication error. Nevertheless, the possibility does exist. When these mistakes do happen, it's imperative to get immediate medical help and then speak with an attorney. The costs related to treating an injury caused by a prescription errors can be extreme, and no victim of negligence should have to face that on their own

Researcher Lisa Coleman shares this article to raise awareness of this serious problem.

We want to thank Lisa for this article about prescription errors and we hope that it is a benefit to our readers.


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