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Examining the Most Common Types of Medication Errors

Medication ErrorsMedication errors, which are defined as any preventable error that may cause inappropriate medication use or patient harm, injure approximately 1.3 million in the United States each year. Some of those injuries result in only minor injuries. However, many others result in either serious injury or fatality. Learn how to protect yourself from the most common medication errors, and where to find assistance if one happens to you or a loved one.

The Most Common Medication Errors

In a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) analysis of fatal medication errors, administration of an improper dose of medicine was responsible for 41 percent of all deaths. The prescribing and administration of the wrong drug or the wrong route were responsible for an additional 16 percent of all medication-related deaths. As concerning as these statistics are, they are not the most disturbing information found in the FDA study.

Elderly at a Significantly Higher Risk

Elderly patients must often take several medications to manage their various health conditions. Unfortunately, as the body ages, it can also become more sensitive to drug interactions and reactions. Some may also have a compromised immune system. All this adds up to a significantly higher risk of death among elderly individuals. In fact, the FDA study found that over half of all fatalities were among patients over the age of 60. Because of this risk, elderly individuals and their families are encouraged to take extra precautions when filling a prescription, receiving a new prescription, or being given medicine by a healthcare provider.

Protecting Yourself from a Medication Error

Patients do not have to feel powerless against medication errors. In fact, there are several strategies that you can use to protect yourself and your loved ones from medication mistakes. These strategies include:

  • Asking your doctor to tell you the name of the drug, dosage, and medication use and then checking it when you pick it up at the pharmacy;
  • Asking questions to ensure you fully understand when and how to use all new medications;
  • Asking for a printout of any special instructions;
  • Informing your doctor of all the medications and supplements you take;
  • Double-checking everything with your pharmacist;
  • Knowing the signs and symptoms of a possible reaction; and
  • Knowing when to seek medical attention.
Contact Our San Jose Medication Error Lawyers

Although the risk of a medication error does decrease for individuals who practice due diligence, a mistake can still occur. If one happens to you or someone you love, contact Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard, LLP for assistance. Our San Jose medication error lawyers are dedicated to protecting your best interests, and we will aggressively pursue the most compensation possible for your situation. Schedule a free consultation by calling (408) 289-1417 today.

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My experience with Attorney Brad Corsiglia during my recent medical malpractice case was nothing short of amazing given the very stressful circumstances. I was fortunate to find Brad highly recommended from a mutual contact and from the very beginning of the process, Brad was truly engaged and knowledgeable in understanding my case and providing input on what avenues were available to me. Michelle M.