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Medication errors happening every 21 seconds

| May 5, 2021 | Medical Malpractice |

Medication mistakes are common medical errors that occur in Illinois. A recent study revealed that these types of errors happen much more frequently than people might think. When people receive the wrong medications or the wrong dosages, they can suffer injuries.

Frequency of medication mistakes

According to a study published in the journal Clinical Toxicology in 2017, 1.5 million medication errors happen every year in the U.S., which works out to a mistake every 21 seconds. These types of errors can be caused by the negligence of doctors, nurses, or pharmacists. For example, a doctor might fail to check a patient’s allergy history or other drugs being used and accidentally prescribe a medication that causes an allergic reaction or that interacts with other medications the patient is taking. Pharmacists might dispense the wrong medication or the wrong dosage. Nurses might fail to check that they are administering medications to the right patients and might give medications to the wrong people.

Preventing medical errors

Patients can do several things to help to prevent medication errors. They should keep current lists of all of the medications they are taking, including over-the-counter and prescription drugs. They should bring this list with them whenever they go to the hospital or their doctor’s office. When a doctor prescribes a new medication, a patient should ask questions. Patients should also make sure that their doctors are aware of any allergies they have to reduce the chance of receiving a medication that could cause an allergic reaction. Patients should check the medications they receive at the pharmacy to make sure drugs are what was prescribed and in the right dosage.

Medication errors can cause serious injuries. People who have suffered injuries because of medication mistakes may want to consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney about the legal remedies that might be available.