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Medication mistakes: a common diagnostic error

Posted by Smiley & Smiley on Jan 4, 2017 3:03:19 PM

New York physicians have many different kinds of treatments at their disposal. In some situations, diagnostic errors may occur and cause serious injury to patients. One of the most common mistakes involves the prescription and administration of medications. But, there are steps people can take to help prevent these adverse drug events.

MedicineNet explains the extent of the prescription error dilemma. One study revealed that patients who are over 60 years old are most often at risk due to regimens of multiple medications. This age group accounted for nearly half of the prescription mistakes that ended in death. The common types of errors included using the incorrect method of administration, taking the wrong drugs and inaccurate dosing. Dosage issues caused the most trouble, accounting for 41 percent of deadly medication mistakes. The problem is significant, affecting almost 1.5 million people every year; however, it may be possible for patients to keep themselves from becoming a part of the statistic.

The Mayo Clinic suggests that there may be many effective means of preventing adverse drug events. This heavily involves clear communication between patients and physicians. For example, if a new medication is being introduced into treatment, it may be critical for a person to accurately detail existing health issues and conditions, prescription and nonprescription drugs, medication allergies, intravenous treatments and vaccinations. A patient should also disclose any vitamins, herbs or supplements being taken.

Additionally, it is key for people to clearly understand the medications that they are ingesting. A comprehensive discussion with a doctor may be necessary to understand issues such as side effects, purpose, reactivity to other medications, and possible restrictions on diet and activity. It is also important to ask a physician how to best deal with dosage mistakes. Through a concerted effort, doctors and patients may be able to reduce the number of lives affected by medication errors.

Topics: Medical Malpractice

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