Medication errors can result in injuries that change your life or even
lead to death. With around a third of Americans taking five or more medications,
it’s not a surprise that some end up suffering from medication errors.
Some medications are not able to be taken together or have special instructions;
others may be filled inaccurately, leading to serious harm.
Adverse drug events lead to around 700,000 emergency department visits
per year, with 100,000 of those people needing to be hospitalized for
the medications they took. The preventable nature of these injuries is
what’s so upsetting to many. Simply double-checking orders should
help reduce the risk to patients; medical equipment sometimes indicates
when a drug shouldn’t be given, and some doctors ignore those warnings.
Here’s an example of a drug-related injury that you could suffer
from. If patient A has a prescription for 10 mg of citalopram, then the
patient should receive that. If instead a dose is filled at 1mg, the patient
could suffer from withdrawal symptoms. If the patient’s dosage is
filled at 100mg, he or she could overdose on the medication and suffer
serious side effects.
Here’s another possibility. If a physician is seeing a patient who
takes allergy medications and writes down a prescription for valium an
anxiety medication with a similar name, the patient could have that prescription
filled and take not only the wrong dosage but also the wrong medication.
If it interacts with other medications or affects the patient’s
body negatively, then the patient could suffer an injury and seek out