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Medical errors related to prescription drugs

When people in New York think about medical malpractice, they often think about things like getting a wrong diagnosis or having a serious condition not even diagnosed at all. Other common examples that come to mind include having an object left inside a body after a surgery or a doctor not taking appropriate action during the labor and delivery of a patient. While these are some types of medical errors, other errors involving prescription medications may also result in serious injuries or even death to patients.

Psychology Todayindicates that there are roughly 1.5 million instances of medication errors made in the U.S. every year. In fact, mistakes involving medications account for the fourth most dangerous form of medical errors in the country. The three types of errors reported as more dangerous are incorrect diagnosis, undergoing treatments that are not necessary or undergoing treatments that are dangerous.

According to the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy, medication errors can be introduced at many stages from the creation of a drug to the use of the drug. A medication error is defined as a preventable mistake that causes injury. For patients in hospitals, one potential error involves the lack of continuation on medications required prior to being admitted to the hospital. This happens roughly half of the time.

Patients in and out of facilities are at risk of being prescribed or given the wrong drug or the wrong dose of the right drug. Poor physician handwriting, confusion about drugs with similar names and more can all contribute to these errors. Patients should also be aware about errors caused by negative interactions between different drugs.

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