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Patients can help reduce medication errors

Medical malpractice can take many forms. A Pennsylvania patient may be subject to a complication during a birth, a surgical error a missed diagnoses or more. Medication errors are among the most common forms of malpractice cases. These errors can be introduced in the pharmacy, the hospital, the doctor’s office or even at the manufacturing plant. Because of the danger that prescription medication errors pose to patients, everyone is encouraged to strengthen his or her own involvement in the process.

A pharmacist at an emergency room offered some advice to patients on how to be more proactive in their healthcare when it comes to reducing the rate of serious injury due to drug mistakes. Patient education is one important element of this. Learning the different names of drugs and potential side effects is a start. Understanding how to store a drug and whether to take it with or without food for proper impact can also minimize negative results.

People responsible for giving medications to others should learn to double check all information on bottles to make sure they do not have the wrong drug as that could result in a fatal medication error. Alerting all medical staff about other medications or allergies can help to avoid a dangerous combination of drugs being prescribed.

With far too many people being injured or dying from medication errors in the United States, the need to take drug safety seriously is high. Doctors, nurses, pharmacists and more all have responsibility for this but every person can be involved as well. When an injury does result from a medication, talking to an attorney can be one option for how to get help.

Source: wearecentralpa.com, “Life and Health: Medications,” Dawn Pellas, June 19, 2014

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