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 compensation later.