The continual development of new or improved pharmaceutical products has helped to cure many people of illness or to control the symptoms of their ailments. Pharmaceutical companies conduct extensive experiments to identify a precise combination of potent chemicals that might address a specific kind of illness. When mistakes are made in the administration of these powerful drugs, what had previously been an asset quickly becomes a dangerous threat.
If you or your loved one has suffered adverse health effects as a result of medication errors, then it is important for you to hold the negligent healthcare accountable for the harm that you have suffered. Contact the Des Moines medication error lawyers of LaMarca Law Group, P.C. at (515) 705-0233 to speak with a skilled and experienced attorney about the financial compensation that you may be due.
Examples of Medication Errors
Examples of medication errors that may arise include:
- Administration of the wrong medication
- Administration of the wrong dosage of the correct medication
- Failure to account for other medications that a patient is taking
- Failure to account for a patient’s medical history
It seems like it should be fairly straightforward to ensure that a patient receives the correct medication and in the correct dosage, but the situation is complicated by the involvement of numerous people. The successful diagnosis and treatment of an illness with a particular medication relies upon complete and accurate communication of information and the execution of occupational responsibilities by current doctors, previous doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and others.
How to Prevent Medication Errors?
Though it's not always in your control to prevent potential medical errors from happening, there are certain steps that you can take to help you or a loved one from suffering.
Make sure that you are always taking the recommended dosage for whatever medicine you are taking. If your doctor made an error on the dosage there is little you can do to help this if you are unaware. However, if you are taking over-the-counter medicine then this in your control.
More is not always better. One-third of Americans take more than the recommended dose of over-the-counter (OTC) medications because they assume it will help them feel better faster, according to a survey from the National Council on Patient Information and Education.
This is a bad idea. Taking more will not increase the drug’s effectiveness. It can also make you feel worse by causing side effects like nausea and diarrhea. Here are some other mistakes to avoid:
- Taking a second dose too soon. Some drugs don’t take effect right away. Taking a second dose can make you drowsy.
- Combining OTCs. Products that treat different symptoms, like headaches and sore throat, often contain the same active ingredients. If you take both, you double the amount of drug in your system.
- Not telling your doctor which OTCs you take on a regular basis. If your doctor doesn’t know, he may prescribe a drug that may have an adverse reaction.
- Not reading all the directions. Easier to read new FDA-mandated Drug Facts labels are now on most OTCs.
There are so many drugs in the marketplace and we hear of so many injuries resulting from them, you can never be too careful when taking prescription or OTC medications. For more information on various drugs, visit the Food and Drug Administration’s website at www.fda.gov.
If you suffer severe side-effects or are seriously injured as a result of taking any medication, you have legal rights. Please call us for more information.