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Are prescription errors common?

On Behalf of | Apr 17, 2018 | Medical Malpractice

Anytime medicine is involved, proper measurements are crucial. Depending on the type of health need, taking correct dosages at the rights times can be paramount to a patient’s well-being. Most Illinois residents who require regular medications understand the importance of the details when it comes to daily routines.

When a professional makes a mistake in the dosage of a prescription, not only can a patient suffer, but a life could be at stake. But first, how common are prescription mix-ups and what can Illinois patients do to prevent them?

The Statistics

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration outlines where processes can go wrong in the distribution of prescription drugs. Most mistakes happen when dispensing, repackaging, prescribing or administering medications. For this reason, it can be difficult to determine where a step in the process went wrong. The FDA also notes that poor communication is one of the most common causes of prescription errors, as well as uncertainty surrounding prescription names. It is also not uncommon for medical professionals to carry out poor techniques, undergo inefficient training or simply have a lack of product knowledge.

The Proactive Steps  

Finding an error in a prescription is a discovery no patient wants to make. A guide from Harvard Health Publishing outlines basic information on medication mistakes and helps readers prevent medication mix-ups. Advising patients with multiple prescriptions to be extra cautious when it comes to daily dosages, Harvard Health also suggests that patients always check the medication name and dose. Because one in every 1,000 prescriptions is filled with an inaccurate dose, it is important to pay attention to the fine print. Patients can also keep their doctor in the loop by giving them an updated list of medications and past side effects; doing so can help prevent allergic reactions. The world of medicine is complex enough on its own, and patients can avoid complications by keeping a keen eye on prescriptions, no matter the type or dosage.