Medication Errors: Potentially Deadly Mistakes

April 16th, 2013
medication errors

Thousands of Canadians are injured and die each year due to adverse reactions to prescribed medication. The causes behind these complications can include a number of factors such as allergic reaction, accidental overdose, dispensing errors by the pharmacy, as well as adverse drug interactions.

Unfortunately, it is still mostly unclear how many deaths and severe complications can be attributed to dispensing errors by pharmacies. Pharmacists, although often highly trained, are only human and still make errors when filling prescriptions. It has been estimated that the percentage of medication errors may be as high as 5%.

The most common types of medication errors:

Incorrect medication

Incorrect dosage

Improper or incomplete instructions

Incorrect generic brand equivalents

Failure to check for adverse drug interactions

These errors can result in serious complications as well as death. Prescriptions are designed to work on specific parts or systems of the body, and when incorrect pills are prescribed, or prescribed at the wrong dosage, even healthy individuals are in danger.

Children are especially susceptible to prescription errors because of their smaller size and undeveloped immune systems. An error that might not cause a severe reaction in an adult could potentially kill a child. A child’s developing body lacks the ability to metabolize high doses of medication which puts them at a much higher risk of dosage errors. Parents are always urged to triple-check any medication prescribed to a child before administering.

Always Check Your Prescriptions

If you are unsure about a particular medication dispensed to you, always check with your doctor. There are also several online pill identification sites that you can use to verify a prescription such as:

http://www.drugs.com/pill_identification.html

Here you can use your pill’s visual characteristics and markings to double check that you have been given the proper medication at the correct dosage. It only takes a minute to double check your prescription, and it could potentially save your life one day. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. This has been a guest post from out lawyer friends at Fellows Hymowitz PC.

The experienced lawyers at Cariati Law are here to help. If you or a loved one have been injured as the result of a defective product, or in any type of accident, call Cariati Law for a free, no obligation, confidential consultation at 289 807 5165. There is never a fee for ours services unless we win for you. Our lawyers are committed to protecting your rights. When injured, make one call to Cariati Law.

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