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Are medication errors a common problem?

On Behalf of | Oct 9, 2019 | Firm News

When you go to the doctor or hospital in Georgia and you are prescribed a medication, you likely take it without even checking to make sure it is correct. You place your trust in the prescribing physician and the pharmacist to give you what you need and to make sure you get the right dosage. Surprisingly enough, reports that 1.3 million people are injured each year because of a medication error. 

According to studies done by the Federal Drug Administration, the most common error is in the form of the wrong dosage for a medication. In almost half of the cases where a patient died, the cause was an improper dosage of a medication. It is also common for health care professionals to administer the medication in the wrong way. 

As a patient, are there ways that you can avoid being the victim of a medication error? It is suggested that you request the drug’s name, what it is used for and what the correct dosage is any time your doctor gives you a new medication. Repeat the instructions out loud to the doctor to make sure that you understand them. Always store the medication correctly, take the recommended dose and pay close attention to any special instructions the doctor or pharmacist gives you. If necessary, ask for a written copy of the information. 

When you are in the hospital, you can ask what drugs you are given and what the purpose is every time you are given something new. You should also share if you are taking any herbal medications, dietary supplements, prescription and non-prescription drugs before anything else is administered. 

Patients should not be afraid to ask questions, as they have the right to know what is happening to them. If there is ever a problem or something seems off with your medication, you have the right to get more information.  

This is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.