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How prescription errors happen

| Jun 7, 2019 | Failure to Diagnose

When you need to take medication for either a chronic illness or an acute one, like many New Yorkers you run the risk of being a victim of a prescription error. These mistakes may come with minor or dire consequences, and in some cases can even result in death. Here at Futterman, Sirotkin & Seinfeld, LLP, people often ask us how prescription errors can happen. 

Forbes points out that there is a high rate of these errors with them occurring between four and eight million times out of the four billion prescriptions that are filled each year. You may wonder how they can happen at all when the stakes are so high, but in actuality there are very different reasons for it. The most obvious is when there is an error on the part of the prescriber, such as:

  •        Writing an incorrect dosage amount 
  •        Making a decimal mistake
  •        Giving the wrong prescription to a patient
  •        Confusing which medication goes to which patient 

However, there are also other ways in which you may be the victim of a prescription error. Sometimes, you may have an adverse drug effect (ADE), which causes a medication to interact with your body chemistry in a harmful way. Even pharmaceutical drugs that have worked for your body in the past have the potential to do harm to you when your clinical status changes. 

Many of these prescription errors can be prevented if your vital signs and lab results are monitored closely and frequently. Unfortunately, this does not always happen and there can be serious consequences for these mistakes. More information about this topic is available on our web page. 

 

 

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