Medical malpractice can take many forms. One kind that may endanger many patients is medication errors.
Many situations may result in a prescription error. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, doctors may prescribe the wrong dosage or tell patients to take medication too often. Additionally, physicians may recommend that patients take medicine for longer than they need it. In some situations, allergies may result in errors. Doctors have to review a patient’s medical history before prescribing a medicine. Physicians may prescribe the wrong substance if they do not ask patients about allergies and reactions to medications.
Why do errors occur?
Many factors may result in a medication error. Doctors may be negligent in their duties. They may not review a patient’s medical history or they may prescribe a dosage that is too high for the symptoms a patient describes.
Additionally, errors can happen if a doctor does not make sure that each member of the staff has the proper training. Employees with inadequate training may not note the difference between dosages. They also may fail to distinguish between two medications that look similar.
How serious are medication errors?
Medication errors can have a long-term impact on people. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says that some people may develop disabilities after a medication error. These mistakes can also cause hospitalization and may result in the deaths of some patients. If pregnant women experience a medication error, their unborn child may have birth defects.
The FDA has recommended guidelines meant to prevent medication errors. However, these errors can still happen if medical professionals are negligent and do not follow all of these guidelines.
If patients think that their physician has been negligent, they should take action. People can report medication errors to make sure that officials step in to prevent further incidents.