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Medication Errors Archives

Pinpointing the reasons behind medication mix-ups

For those clients that come to us here at DeLuca and Weizenbaum after having suffered from a dangerous drug reaction, their first question is often how could skilled doctors and pharmacists could make these mistakes. Often, prescription errors are chalked up to poor communication between providers. However, as we’ll discuss in this post, medication mix-ups aren’t always that simple.

The most common causes of medication errors

For many of those clients with whom we work here at the offices of DeLuca and Weizenbaum, the damaged trust between themselves and their health care providers following a medication mistake is the hardest thing they have to deal with. Learning to be an active participant in one’s own care can help to avoid such accidents. If one knows the root causes of most medication errors, then he or she may be more mindful when dealing with them. We’ll examine those causes in this post.

The dangers of an allergic drug reaction

Of all of the issues that clients bring to us here at DeLuca and Weizenbaum, medication errors are often the most difficult for them to comprehend. While it may take an initial adverse reaction in order for one to know that he or she is allergic to a medication, once that incident occurs, it is typically documented in a patient's medical record. Even if an allergy is missed provider in the medical record, its presence usually shows up in the visit notes because clinical support staff are trained to ask for it during a patient's assessment. Yet according to data shared by AmericanNurseToday.com, nearly 1.5 million patients suffer from a drug error every year in the U.S.

What are the dangers in receiving the wrong blood type?

Every year, countless patients here in Providence and throughout the rest of the country enter hospitals and surgical centers to undergo procedures. These procedures range from simple surgeries that may take only a few minutes to highly-complex operative sessions involving multiple surgical teams working for many hours. Surgical patients place a great deal of trust on those performing and assisting with their operations. While that trust is typically warranted, it should be remembered that these people are prone to mistakes just like everyone else. It's when these mistakes involve seemingly simple missteps that lead to potentially fatal consequences that healthcare providers come under fire.

Taking a closer look at prescription drug recalls

Most in Providence may associate problems with patient medications as stemming from doctors or other health care providers prescribing the wrong drugs. Yet in many cases, a patient's prescription may be fine, but the medication that he or she has been prescribed may not be. Information gathered in a study done by Brigham and Women's Hospital and shared by ABC News puts the estimated number of potentially dangerous pharmaceutical drugs recalled in the U.S. at one every month. Given that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that over 10 percent of Americans take five or more medications every month, such recall information shows how the potential for a dangerous drug reaction in patients can be so high.

How can people avoid medication errors on their own?

People on Providence and throughout the rest of the United States place a lot of faith in the ability of both the medications they take and the providers that prescribe them. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 82 percent of American adults frequently take at least one medication.  Medication errors are inevitable with that size of a patient population. However, there are steps patients can take to help avoid such mishaps on their own.

Prescription error leads to patient's fatal overdose

Thanks to advances in pharmacological science, people in Providence can combat pain, illness, and infection with remarkable effectiveness. Yet prescription drugs also carry with them the potential to cause untold harm if given in wrong amounts or in combination with other medications. Patients look to their doctors to know what's best for them when it comes to prescribing them their drugs. Doctors are required to communicate clearly with pharmacists to ensure that their patients are given the right drugs in the right doses. When that chain of communication breaks down, patients pay a high price.

Man loses vision after being given ear drops instead of eye drops

People in Providence rely on the assumption that doctors, dentists, pharmacists, and others operating within the healthcare industry are not only qualified but also competent to perform the work that they are engaged in. After all, these providers are required to certify to the highest degree of safety standards before being allowed to practice. Unfortunately, no amount of schooling, training, or certifications can completely eliminate human error from healthcare. However, there is often a fine line between human error and gross negligence. When a patient’s health hangs in the balance, negligence cannot be tolerated.

False HIV diagnosis blamed for the loss of woman's unborn baby

Advances in pharmacological science over the years have saved millions of lives. Today, patients in Providence have access to a wide array of drugs and medications aimed at treating both minor and severe illnesses. Yet for all of their lifesaving potential, many medications also carry with them some unwelcome side effects. Patients suffering from severe ailments will often put up with these side effects because they know their medications are necessary if they hope to improve. Yet when incorrect diagnoses lead to prescription medication errors, those who suffer from these side effects may be less likely to endure such suffering quietly.

Multiple lawsuits lead to criminal charges for doctor

The number of people struggling with an addiction to prescription drugs has grown steadily over the last couple of decades. When people in Providence develop such an addiction, one then might question what role their doctors played in contributing to such a problem. While doctors are bound to treat their patients in the best way that they believe possible, they are also relied upon to spot those instances where they may be fueling their patients’ addictions. A failure to do so could result in harm to a patient from a drug’s dangerous side effects, and leave the doctor facing serious penalties.

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Providence Personal Injury Office

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Providence, RI 02903

Toll Free: 888-876-9415
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