How can medication errors impact patients?

When we get ill, we rely on medical professionals to help diagnose and treat us. In most cases, this means a treatment plan that involves a medication. These are prescribed based on the diagnostic findings of the medical professional. However, if diagnostic errors are made, this could result in the wrong prescription or the wrong dose being prescribed. This ultimately could result in a medication error and harm caused to a patient.

How can medication errors impact patients? Medication errors, which are also known as adverse drug events, can cause serious harm and injury to patients. This could be due to an overdose, an allergic reaction, an adverse drug reaction, given the wrong medication and other medication errors.

A medication error is considered a preventable mistake; however, such a mistake could occur at any point, This means an errors could occur when it was prescribed, filled, administered and even monitored. This type of medical mistake impacts more than seven million patients across all health care settings, costing $21 billion annually.

There are four types of medication errors. The first is knowledge-based, which occurs because of the lack of knowledge on a certain medication. The next is action-based or technical errors, which occurs when a patient unknowingly receives either the wrong medication or dosage of the medication. The third type is memory based, which is the result of negligence, such as forgetting the allergies of a patient or explaining the side-effects of the medication. The final is rule-based, which occurs when medical rules are not properly followed, such as injecting in the wrong part of the body or administering a drug that is not approved.

If a patient believes that a medication error or medical mistake is the cause of harm suffered, it is possible to hold a medical professional liable. A medical malpractice action could help uncover how the errors occurred and what party or parties are accountable. Additionally, this could help the injured patient recover compensation for the injuries and damages suffered.

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