Medicine is arguably the greatest invention of modern medicine. Pain relief, disease prevention and cure, and treatment of chronic disease symptoms are all products of modern medications. Unfortunately, due to many reasons, innocent people’s lives are put in jeopardy each day because of errors in medication. If medication is not prescribed and dispensed correctly, the patient can be seriously injured or even die.
Medication errors can happen at home, in the hospital or in the doctor’s office. More than one million people a year experience a medication error of some type and Sacramento experiences many of those, many of which are preventable. The California Medical Board listed 110 occurrences of serious disciplinary action against a medical professional in 2000. In 2009, 132 preventable accidents in medication were listed and the number is rising each year.
These deaths and injuries happen when medication errors occur which leads to medication being used improperly. These errors could be prescribing the wrong medicine, or the wrong dose. Other causes include illegal prescriptions, poor communication, typos and similar sounding medication names and abbreviations.
In order to prove negligence in a medical malpractice case some form of deviance from the acceptable standard of care has to have taken place. Examples of this type of negligence include:
When prescribing a new drug, the physician should screen for existing medications that could counteract as well as any allergies that could cause dangerous interactions.
A healthcare professional who abuses patient’s medications is negligent.
Doctors or nurses who are not attentive or who do not perform their duties are negligent.
Pharmacists who do not have practiced safety protocols in place for drug distribution are negligent.
The best way to prevent medication errors is to be educated and knowledgeable on your injury and treatment and to keep communication with your doctor open and direct.
Below are some basic tips to keep in mind to help prevent medication errors.
Make sure to tell all doctors and health care providers all the medicines you are taking. This includes vitamins, supplements and any special diets you may be using. Without this knowledge, a doctor could possible prescribe a medication that would counteract with something your already taking and cause adverse reactions.
Ask your prescribing doctor for a summary of your medications. Have him pronounce the names of the medications, explain their dosage and use. Be sure you understand completely. Ask if there are any particular storage instructions or special instructions.
Be assertive. This is your health we are talking about. Ask questions when you aren’t clear about something. If your medicines look different or if the instructions on the bottle differ from what you were told, you should ask your doctor to clarify.
Moseley Collins is experience in medicinal error cases. He has fought for his clients to receive fair remuneration for the pain, suffering and devastating effects of medicinal errors. Contact our offices today for a free consultation. Find out if negligence has occurred in your case and how we an prove it in court.