Understanding Medication Errors
Ohio residents should know how to proactively protect against medication errors and to get help if such a problem does happen.
When an Ohio resident goes to the doctor or is planning to have an operation, many concerns about safety may arise. From the potential for a diagnosis to be wrong or missed altogether to items being left inside a patient’s body after surgery, there is a long list of medical errors that may occur. One category of errors involves prescription medications.
What Qualifies as a Medication Error?
The National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention indicates there are two essential elements to what may be classified as a medication error. First, the mistake must have been able to be prevented. Second, it must have either resulted in harm to a patient or had the potential to result in harm to the patient.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality further states that medication errors can happen at any point along the journey of a drug from manufacture to use. That means drug makers, doctors, nurses, pharmacists and more may all be involved in a medication error in some way.
How Can I Prevent Medication Errors?
There may be no way for an individual patient to guarantee that he or she will not be subjected to a medication error. However, there are concrete steps that a person can take in order to reduce the chance of such problems from occurring.
According to WebMD, patients should maintain a central log of their health history and information, including medication names, doses and other details. This should be brought to any visit, or to a hospital prior to having a procedure done. A record like this can give providers a comprehensive view into all medications currently taken to help reduce the chance of any complications with additional drugs that may be needed. This record should also include vitamins, supplements, and non-prescription medications.
When a new drug is prescribed, patient proactivity is recommended. People should always ask providers what the drug is for and what side effects are known to be associated with it. Other things to know include whether or not the drug should be taken on an empty stomach or with food for optimal results.
If needing to undergo an operation, a patient should always have another person ready to discuss medications with doctors, nurses or pharmacists if needed while the patient may be unable to communicate.
What Should I Do If a Problem Occurs?
Prompt response is important in situations like this. Reaching out to an attorney is recommended so that injured patients can get the help they need to seek compensation for their injuries.