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Common Drug Errors to Watch Out For

Drug errors are unfortunately common.  It has been estimated that about 1.3 million Americans are injured every year by medication mistakes.

drug error is defined by the National Coordinating Council of Medication Error Reporting and Prevention as “any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the medication is in the control of the health care professional, patient or consumer…related to professional practice, health care products, procedures, and systems, including prescribing; order communication; product labeling, packaging, and nomenclature; compounding; dispensing; distribution; administration; education; monitoring; and use.”

Based on this definition, a medication error can occur at any point from when the prescription is written out by the doctor to once you start taking it. While there are many types of drug errors, such as medication mix-ups and drug interactions, some are more prevalent than others.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) completed a study that found that the following were the most common medication mistakes. Each type of drug error was assigned a percentage based on the number of cases.

  • Improper dosage – 41%
  • Giving the wrong medication – 16%
  • Using the wrong route of administration – 16%

The FDA study also found that nearly half of the deadly drug errors involved patients over the age of 60.  One explanation for this discovery is that older people tend to take multiple prescription drugs, which could put them at a higher risk for medication mistakes.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a drug mistake, you may be entitled to compensation.  These types of cases often fall under medical malpractice.  For more information, contact the Law Office of Schachter, Hendy & Johnson (859) 578-4444 or (888) 606-5297.  Our Northern Kentucky injury lawyers represent clients who have been injured by medical malpractice in Ohio and Kentucky.

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