Medication Errors on the Rise in NYC
“To Err is Human” a quote made famous by English Poet, Alexander Pope; and applicable to almost every aspect of modern living today, all except in one, that which pertains to medication errors.
In a recent report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) the number of deaths attributable to medication errors range as high as 98,000 annually with approximately 1.5 million being injured.
With such staggering numbers can we afford to have our medical professional continue to make such grave and irresponsible errors that is costing us the lives of our loved ones?
Medication errors occur anywhere within the drug prescribing system; from the distribution to administration of the drug, mistakes are made from the physician writing the prescription to the pharmacist dispensing it, to the medical personnel administering the medication.
Medication errors are common and occur all too frequently.
As a result of all these errors, The Medication Errors Reporting Program (MERP) was put into effect to assist with analyzing the causes of these medication errors while at the same time to offer possible solutions and recommendations to prevent further errors from occurring. The program invites consumers to confidentially report any errors by completing a report supported by relevant evidence.
Medication Errors needs to be documented and recounted to ascertain that the same missteps do not keep happening. Whether it was a ‘near miss’ incident or a hazardous situation or even a bad reaction, as a consumer, we need to be aware of the dangers associated with medication errors and the ensuing problems. Some of the most frequent issues include:
- Issues with the prescriptions – indecipherable hand-writing
- Inadequate medication instructions provided
- Similar names and labels on the packaging
- Preparation and dispensing of the medication
- Process by which the medication is ordered (Internet, telephone, Mail, etc)
- Unexpected reactions to the drugs
- Problems with the equipment supplying the medication, such as the intravenous pump, insulin pens etc.
With so many modern technologies available at our finger tips today, yet medication mistakes continues to be on the rise, whether it is attributable to human error or not, we all must do our part to assist in preventing any further casualties from occurring from these medical mishaps.
Some simple measures we the consumers can follow to help alleviate these errors are:
- Being Prepared – this entails making a list of all prescription and non-prescription drugs, all supplements inclusive of vitamins, herbs and other mineral that you and the family take. Keep a copy in your wallet, and ensure it is updated periodically.
- Have your medication reviewed regularly – If possible, once a year, have your medication list reviewed by your primary care physician, this ensures there are no dangerous combination, incorrect dosages or medication inappropriate to your age and medical circumstance. Keep in mind that as time passes, the body changes, the medication that was acceptable for you 5 years ago may not have the same effect on you today, worse it may not even be necessary for you to continue taking.
- Utilize your pharmacist – Today, most pharmacies offer free consultation on your medication management. Make use of this, it may be easier to speak with your pharmacist than your doctor, additionally, the pharmacist will detail whether your medicine must be taken alone or with a meal, what the possible side effects are as they are highly knowledgeable on the medication interactions, so consult your pharmacist to review that list.
- Be proactive, prior to any type of hospital surgery- Prior to any type of surgery, consult your doctor as to which medication you may need to stop taking, if any, further after the procedure, don’t forget to ask them to explain any additional medication you are being administered and what effects, if any, they may have on you. If you are unable to complete this task yourself, get a friend or family member to follow up and get all the pertinent details.
No health care professional including pharmacists wish to make any errors that will result in a patient injury. They are aware that with any missteps, they are at risk for legal action for their errors; and lawsuits have proliferated along with these errors.
Both patients and regulatory agencies have taken the necessary steps to seek redress for harm caused by these medication mistakes. Any medical professional, including pharmacist can and will be held legally liable for their errors.
At the Law Office of Igor Tarasov Esq. we understand the complexities in filing a claim for medication errors. We understand that this type of negligence must be investigated and those responsible should be made to pay monetary damages and or have their practitioner’s license revoked.
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At the Law Office of Igor Tarasov Esq. we help you to understand your judicial rights and the statute of limitations on your particular time-sensitive case.
We explore all options available to assist you in recouping monetary damages for medical bills, all loss of wages, rehabilitation cost and home care cost.
Remember, accountability helps reduce overall negligence and incidents.
Schedule a free case evaluation today with an experienced New York Personal Injury Attorney at the Law Office of Igor Tarasov Esq. at 800. 123.4567.
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