Some people take medication temporarily until they heal from an illness or permanently to manage a chronic condition. Regardless, medical professionals need to take extra care when dispensing medications.
According to an NIH (National Institute of Health) study, medication errors impact over 7 million patients and cost nearly $21 million per year. (And many of these errors are preventable!) Below are three common causes of prescription errors.
Some doctors misdiagnose a patient because said patient displays symptoms that mimic one condition, but it turns out to be another when their medication does nothing to treat it. For example, an individual complains about bloating and stomach pain, common symptoms of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).
However, they appear for another appointment when their prescription doesn’t work. After an examination, it turns out they have celiac disease, not IBS, because they only experience symptoms after consuming wheat bread and other gluten-rich foods.
Patients need to take the correct medication dosage to keep symptoms at bay. Taking too little will leave them in agonizing pain, and taking too much may make them sicker than before — or kill them — due to overdose.
Wrong type of medication
Some medical professionals unintentionally mix up medications, resulting in patients receiving inappropriate prescriptions. For instance, a patient requiring pills might get a subcutaneous syringe instead.
Incorrect use of medication
Prescription medication has to be taken in a certain way, like with food or water. If a patient fails to do this, they will likely experience adverse health reactions like stomach ulcers, indigestion or inflammation.
Many prescription errors occur due to poor communication and unclear conveyance of instructions. If you or a loved one recently suffered from a medication error, consider seeking legal guidance to aid you in your case.