When you’re sick or have been involved in an accident, you place a great deal of trust in your medial provider to treat you. You’re completely focused on your health and getting back to your normal routine, but what you may not consider are the dangers of medication errors as a result of medical malpractice or negligence.
What is a Medication Error?
The 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 healthcare professional, patient, or consumer”.
Medication and prescription errors are some of the most common medical errors. 1.5 million people are harmed every year. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) receives more than 100,000 reports of suspected medical errors.
Common Prescription Errors
The 3 most common medication and prescription errors are:
- Wrong Drug Quantity
- Harmful Drug Interactions
- When Doctors Ignore or Fail to Factor in Allergies
Here’s an example: the drug Coumadin or Warfarin prevents blood clots for people who have a heart condition called AFib. If not monitored properly, this drug can be very dangerous. If your doctor was not monitoring your blood levels and you fell and hit your head, you could have a brain bleed.
Another example is a drug allergy. If you have to have surgery but are allergic to a specific class of drugs of anesthesia, your anesthesiologist needs to take the time to look at your drug allergy history. If your allergy is in the system, but ignored or missed, you could have an anaphylactic reaction. This cuts off oxygen to your brain and could cause a traumatic brain injury.
When Do Medication Errors Happen?
Medication errors can happen at many stages throughout the medication-use system. The following stages are common points of error:
- Prescribing a drug
- Entering information into a computer system
- Preparing the drug
- Dispensing the drug
- Giving the drug to a patient
What are the Dangers of Prescription & Medication Errors?
Harmful effects of a prescription error could include:
- Life threatening illness
- Birth defect
Our Ohio Prescription Error Lawyers Can Help
We understand that medication and prescription errors are very scary. Our legal team has handled many of these cases and has experience walking people through the legal process. If you or a loved one have been harmed by a medication error in Ohio, contact us to schedule a free strategy session so we can listen to your story and discuss the best course of action.