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The rate of medication errors has doubled since 2000

At one point or another, residents in California and other states across the nation will fall ill. Whether it is a minor or major health issue, medical providers will prescribe their patients specific medications to treat or address the ailment or disease. While this is an effective way to get patients back to good health, this is a step that is not without risks. Although medications are prescribed with specific instructions, quantities and duration of treatment, these details will not be effective if a patient was prescribed the wrong medication or was filled the wrong medication.

Medication errors occur at an alarming rate and, according to current statistics, the rate of medication mistakes has doubled in the United States since 2000. Whether this is taking the wrong dose, double-dose or take the wrong medication, researchers found that four out of every 10 medication mistakes involved heart medications, painkillers or hormone therapy prescriptions, which includes insulin.

These medication errors often land patients in the hospital. Because there are even more medications being developed for new and old diagnoses, this invites more medication errors and adverse reactions to occur. While it is found that most medication mistakes occur outside of health care facilities, this does not mean medical professionals are not to blame for these incidents. If a prescription was not properly filled with the correct medication, the correct dosage or the correct label, a patient is unable to receive proper medical treatment while at home.

Therefore, when adverse reactions do occur because of a medication, it is imperative that medical attention is sought. Additionally, patients should understand what caused the medication error. If it was due to the negligence of a medical professional, it is possible to hold them accountable through a medical malpractice suit. This legal action could also help with the recovery of compensation, which could be used to cover medical bills, lost wages and other damages.

Source: Consumer.healthday.com, "Medication Mistakes Have Doubled in U.S. Since 2000: Study," Alan Mozes, July 10, 2017

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