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Medication errors and how to avoid them

Negligent medical care comes in many different forms. Whenever a medical professional's conduct drops below the accepted standard of care, the professional may be found negligent. This standard of care even applies to the prescription of medicine. Unfortunately, many people are injured or killed every year by medication errors. New York residents injured by negligent care and medication errors may be able to recover money for their damages.

There are ways to prevent prescription errors, however, and hospitals and patients can both work to avoid complications. Hospitals and pharmacies can use different packaging for patients taking multiple medications. Blister packs allow patients to easily identify the medicine and track their daily dosage. User-friendly packaging can help to avoid dangerous drug interactions as well.

Doctors are known for their poor handwriting. An electronic system of writing prescriptions may limit the number of mistakes due to misread prescriptions. Similar to the electronic prescriptions, hospitals can adopt a bar code system in order to check and distribute drugs.

As for patients, they need to make sure to read all of the information that comes with medication, not just the sticky tabs on the bottle. The labels on the bottle do provide essential information, including how to take the medicine and certain side effects, but the accompanying package of information provides the patient with important details. Patients should be aware of all of the risks involved with the drug they are consuming.

Although there are ways to reduce the number of medication errors, mistakes still happen. The prescribing doctor has the primary duty of making sure they are prescribing the appropriate medication and dosage. A failure to do so may constitute negligence. A patient injured as a result of such negligence may be able to recover money to pay for related expenses.

Source: WFTV Channel 9, "Eye-Balling Bottles: What You're Missing On Your Prescription," Oct. 3, 2012

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