Protect yourself from doctors’ and pharmacists’ medication errors

It is scary to think that a drug prescribed by our doctor and filled by a pharmacist could kill us. But deaths and injuries from medication errors happen all the time, unfortunately. Prescribing the wrong drug or the wrong dosage may be a form of medical malpractice and the physician responsible could be held financially liable for the affected patient’s injuries.

But being compensated for the medical bills and lost wages caused by a medication error does not take away the painful and debilitating symptoms caused by a bad reaction to a medication. Obviously, the best scenario is to never be given an inappropriate drug in the first place.

One of the best ways to protect yourself is to be an active participant in your medical care. When your doctor says he or she is prescribing you something, ask why if you are not sure. Also, ask specific questions about the proper dosage, how long you are supposed to take it and how many times per day. Make sure to inquire about possible side effects.

On the way to the pharmacy, double-check the written prescription, if your doctor gives you one, to ensure that it matches what you were told. If the prescription is sent electronically to the pharmacy, check with the pharmacist to make sure there are no mistakes.

The responsiblity for substandard medical care usually lies with the medical professional who committed it. But patients can take steps to protect themselves from medical malpractice by asking important questions in the examination room.

Source: Newsone, “Minimize Errors At The Pharmacy,” Felicia Vance, July 31, 2013

Medication Errors


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