Prescription Medication Errors

Although we spend more money on healthcare than any other nation in the world, medical errors are a leading cause of death in the United States of America. These include everything from early discharge to misdiagnosis to misinterpreting test results. However, one of the leading causes of injury and death among patients is prescription medication errors. In fact, these errors are the leading mistakes made in most hospitals.  If you or a loved one is a victim, please contact our Philadelphia prescription medication errors attorney today.

Prescription Medication Error Stats

According to a study by Critical Care Medicine:

  • Only 537 hospitals voluntarily provided prescription medication error information between the years 1999 to 2005.
  • The most common prescription medication error was the omission of a medication, or delaying/denying medication to a patient.
  • The departments with the most prescription medication errors were non-intensive care units at 93.4%
  • Only 6.6% of reported errors came from the ICU, although they were more likely to be more serious.
  • Hospitals only admit prescription medication errors to patients and their families an underwhelming 2% of the time.
  • Over half the time, no action is taken by the hospital after a prescription medication error.

Types of Prescription Medication Errors

There are a number of ways prescription medications errors happen. In addition to the aforementioned withholding of prescription medications, other such errors are usually divided into six categories:

  1. Prescribing medications that interact dangerously
  2. Prescribing the wrong medications to treat a patient’s condition
  3. Overprescribing unnecessary medications
  4. Under prescribing necessary medications
  5. Giving an incorrect dosage for a patient
  6. Pre-emptively stopping medication before it has taken effect or in such a way that it causes harm
  7. Prescription medication mixups – giving a patient a medication other than what was prescribed or in an incorrect dose

What To Do If You Suspect a Prescription Medication Error

Always read the side effects of the prescription medication carefully in order to know what is and is not normal when taking them. If unsure, ask your pharmacist when getting your prescription filled. Patients who experience side effects beyond what is acceptable or who suffer symptoms not listed can be the victims of prescription medication errors. If the condition worsens or new symptoms develop, there may be a prescription medication error. Unfortunately, the hospital is unlikely to admit their error.

Patients suspecting medication errors should not discontinue their medication treatment without the approval of a doctor. Anyone who suspects an error should seek a second opinion immediately, preferably with a doctor not associated with the hospital or health care system who prescribed them.

Philadelphia Prescription Medication Errors Attorney

Prescription errors in children and adults can have devastating consequences for the patient. If you or someone you know has suffered an injury or death as the result of a prescription medication error, contact our Philadelphia prescription medication errors attorney immediately to discuss your options at no charge. Time limitations apply to your potential claims, so do not delay in contacting a medical malpractice lawyer for help.

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