How Can I Avoid Being the Victim of a Medication Error?

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When a health care provider prescribes medication for a patient, there are several factors that must be considered before administering the medication. For example, the physician must review the patient’s health history, determine if the patient has any allergies, consider possible drug interactions with medications the patient is already taking, and potential side effects of the medication being prescribed. When an incorrect medication is prescribed, or an incorrect dosage amount, it can cause serious health complications for patients. Unfortunately, there are over 100,000 reports of possible errors each year in the United States. Consumers can take proactive steps to reduce the risk of being a victim of this serious form of medical malpractice.

There are several individuals who may be responsible for a medication error, including the physician, a nurse practitioner, or a pharmacist. These errors are typically the result of poor communication between various health care providers, or a failure to review the patient’s history. In some cases, certain medications may look or sound alike, but are different in formulation. Another common cause is using the wrong medical abbreviations.

Steps Patients Can Take

Fortunately, there are proactive steps that patients can take to reduce the risk of being the victim of this type of medical malpractice.

  • Do not be afraid to ask questions. If you have just been diagnosed with a health condition, and your doctor begins to discuss a treatment plan, medication, dosage amounts, and potential side effects, it can be very overwhelming. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to discuss them with your doctor. Also, make sure that your physician is aware of all other medications you are currently taking, and any medication allergies you might have. Drug interactions can cause serious health complications, so do not hesitate to voice your concerns or ask a question.
  • Learn about the medication your doctor prescribed. Talk to your doctor and your pharmacist about the drug you will be taking. Confirm that both are aware of all other drugs that you are currently taking and discuss possible side effects. You may have questions about the medication that your physician did not think to discuss. The more you understand about the medication you will be taking, the better you can manage your health.
  • Confirm that the information on the prescription label is correct. Your doctor and pharmacist are responsible for prescribing and dispensing the correct medication, but it is always a good idea to check the label to make sure everything is correct and that you have the right number of refills.

Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Prescription Medication Errors

If your health was compromised as a result of a medication error, you are urged to contact the Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. We will determine whether your health care provider was negligent in any way and ensure that you receive the maximum financial compensation you deserve. We will not stop fighting for you until justice has been served. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.

Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Prince George’s County, allowing us to represent medical malpractice victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.