It is estimated that 1.3 million people in the United States are injured each year due to medication errors. Unfortunately, a vast majority of these injuries are preventable, according to the National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention. Medication errors are considered any preventable event that can cause or lead to inappropriate medication use while under the control of a healthcare provider or employee.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reviews medication error reports and advises practitioners about these common errors so that they can be avoided. Despite government intervention, the numbers for medication errors continue to grow, which is why it is imperative that patients understand and know how to avoid these common errors.
The Most Common Medication Errors
Some errors are more commonly seen than others. Also, certain medications appear to be misused or abused more commonly in some way, which include:
- Albuterol, and
Among these drugs, there have been a common number of errors reported. Even if you are not being prescribed one of these medications, it is important that you understand common medication errors and how those can impact you. The common errors include:
- Failure to Review Current Medications: If a health care provider fails to review your current list of prescription medications, as well as over-the-counter medications and supplements, he or she could prescribe a medication with deadly interactions.
- Inadequate Dosing: Another common error is the issue of administering too much or too little of the medication. Too little could mean that the medication is not as effective in treatment, while too much could lead to dangerous overdoses. Both could lead to death. If a patient is suffering from a life-threatening infection, but too little antibiotics are given, this may allow the infection to spread and result in the patient’s death. This underdose led to death.
- Prescription Names: Some prescriptions have very similar names, but completely different uses. This error can happen when a physician writes down the wrong prescription or the pharmacy staff pulls the wrong prescription from the shelf.
- Improper Instructions: Medications are only as effective as the dosing. A specific dose and time must be listed on a patient’s prescription to ensure effectiveness. If the physician and/or pharmacy included inadequate or incorrect medication instructions, the results could be detrimental.
- Drug Allergies: Physicians and healthcare workers must also detect drug allergies, ask patients about previous allergies, and ensure that there is no risk for dangerous allergic reactions when prescribing medications. Failure to detect an individual’s allergies could lead to severe complications or result in death.
Were You Injured Because of a Medication Error?
The injuries from medication errors are severe. Patients could suffer from adverse effects, long-term injuries or even death. If you are the victim of a medication error, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact the team at Malman Law today to discuss your case. We offer free consultations, so schedule yours by calling us at 888-751-2297 or by filling out our online contact form.