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Over One Million People Injured Annually from Medication Errors

Posted on in Drugs

In a recent article in MedicineNet, it was revealed that over 1 million people per year are injured from what's referred to as “medication errors.” Per the National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention (NCMERP), a medication error is defined 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…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.”

According to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the agency which oversees medication errors through reporting from drug companies, the most common error is the administration of improper doses of medication. The FDA, using statistics of medication errors which were fatal, from 1993 to 1998, concluded that 41 percent of those fatal errors were from patients receiving the wrong dosage. About half of the patients who received fatal doses in that time frame were 60 years or older.

Medical experts offer suggestions on how patients can avoid becoming victims of medication error. When receiving a prescription from your doctor, it's recommended that you ask them the exact name of the drug, the reason the drug is being prescribed and what the dosage prescribed is.

You should also follow this procedure if you have been admitted to a hospital or other facility and are being given medication there.

It's also important to let you doctor know of any other medication you may be taking, as well as any over-the-counter medications, herbal drugs or dietary supplements. These products could have adverse reactions when mixed.

The experts advise to ask question if you think something isn't right. If the medication itself looks different, or the directions are not what you thought they were supposed to be, check immediately with your pharmacist or your doctor before taking the medication.

If you've been a victim of medication error, contact an experienced Cook County defective drug attorney to find out what compensation you may be entitled to for your injuries.

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