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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
While one does indeed forfeit many of his or her rights upon incarceration, the right to receive adequate healthcare is not one of them. Medical staffs operating in detention centers in Providence and throughout the rest of the country are still charged with delivering care that meets the highest of medical standards. A failure to do so can endanger the lives of inmates and detainees. It also opens up the healthcare providers on the staff and the facility itself to accusations of medical negligence.
Prescription medications can work wonders in combating pain, illness, and infection. They do this by suppressing the effects of certain chemical responses that occur in designated systems of the body. Those in Providence taking prescription medications probably put more thought into the effects the drugs have on them than how they actually deliver that effect. Yet taking incorrect medications can trigger chemical responses within the body that can be harmful or, in some cases, even fatal.