According to a 2006 Washington Post report, at least 1.5 million Americans are sickened, injured, or killed every year due to avoidable prescription medication errors. These often dangerous prescriptions errors can effect: product labeling and packaging; dispensing of medicine; education; monitoring and use; compounding; and prescribing.
In addition, mistakes in administering drugs are so common in hospitals that, on average, a patient may be subject to a medication error each day he or she is in a hospital bed.
Prescription/medicine errors can seriously endanger the life of a patient, but there are ways to protect yourself against a potentially life-threatening medical mistake. Medicinenet.com offers these tips:
- When a physician gives you a prescription, have them tell you the name of each drug and explain to you what it is used for and the correct dosage.
- Make sure you clearly understand the directions on how to take the medicine and how to properly store it.
- Each time you are given a new prescription, it is important to tell your doctor the names of any drugs you are currently taking, whether it is over the counter or an herbal supplement, to help avoid any dangerous drug interactions.
- Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask questions! Your health is one of the most important things you have, so asking questions if you’re unsure of something (like the directions) or if something seems suspicious (such as a pill looking different to you) may help prevent a major error later.
Being an empowered patient and taking an active role in your medical care by doing things such as asking questions and keeping track of important information can help prevent a serious prescription/medication error from occurring. However, you cannot always prevent a physician or healthcare provider from making a careless mistake that can endanger your health and well-being. The Maryland prescription error injury attorneys with the law firm of Alpert Schreyer can help anyone who has suffered any health problems or injury due to a prescription error. Please call (844) 632-7274 for a consultation with our law team.