3 Useful Things to Know About Medication Errors
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there are roughly 100,000 medication errors that are reported every year. Countless medication errors go unreported as well. The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy reports that medication errors affect roughly 1.5 million people every year. These errors also incur extra hospital and medical care costs in the range of $3.5 billion, even without considering the effect on lost wages and productivity.
Medical errors are preventable, which makes them even more concerning. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a medical error in Kansas, you may want to familiarize yourself with the information below.
- Medical Errors Are Preventable.
The National Coordinating Council for Medication Error and Prevention (NCCMERP) has developed a specific definition for “medical error.” This is the same definition that the FDA uses as part of its statistics and analysis as well.
NCCMERP defines medical errors as: “any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm, while the mediation is in the control of the health care professional, patient, or consumer.”
This definition points out that medical errors can occur in a variety of circumstances. They can occur at the hospital, while a patient is receiving care, or even at home once the patient takes the prescription medication. In many situations, the directions and warnings that a patient has about how to take their medication at home are just as important as taking it correctly while at a hospital.
2. Medication Errors Can Be the Result of Poor Medical Care.
When medication is prescribed, it is supposed to be provided to a patient with a full understanding of the patient’s background and diagnosis. However, that is not always the case.
One of the most common causes of medication errors is an incorrect diagnosis. In that type of situation, the medical professional prescribes a medication because they believed it is treating a specific condition. However, if the patient actually does not have that particular condition, the medication could be ineffective or even cause harm.
Medication errors can also arise because a medical professional did not get a complete history from their patient. For example, they might prescribe a medication that would be safe for someone who does not have a heart condition, but if the patient has a heart condition, it could be fatal. The medical professional must have a full understanding of a patient’s medical history and current medications to prescribe medication correctly.
3. Even Simple Actions Can Result in Medication Errors.
One of the main causes of prescription errors is illegible handwriting. Doctors are notorious for having poor handwriting, but when the pharmacist cannot read the prescription, it can lead to mistakes when the medication is filled. These errors might include a completely incorrect mediation or an incorrect dosage.
Get Help with Medication Errors from Larry Wall Trial Law
If you or a loved one have been the victim of a medication error in Kansas, you may have legal options to address this medical malpractice. Contact our office to learn more about your rights by scheduling a free consultation with a medical malpractice attorney.