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Monitoring by pharmacists could reduce medication errors

For New Mexico patients who have HIV, it can be difficult to keep track of all the medications they may be required to take. Potential medical errors are also more likely to occur once the patient transitions from acute hospitalization to being back in the general community.

The problem with medical errors, particularly dosing errors, is that missing a dose can increase the resistance of the virus, lead to an increase in the viral load and result in treatment failure. However, pharmacists may be able to reduce medication errors caused by this transition. According to a study, having pharmacists monitoring the patients was beneficial. It resulted in reducing incorrect dosing by 90 percent while decreasing adverse drug interactions by about 66 percent.

According to the study, which was published online on May 20, the most common medication error was drug interactions. This potentially occurred due to the aging patients' complex medication regimens. Additionally, patients who were experiencing renal dysfunction were also more likely to experience medication errors as certain medications needed to have the doses adjusted.

A patient who requires a complex regimen of medications and who is given the wrong drug or the wrong dose can suffer harmful or even deadly complications. This could result in a worsened medical condition that requires additional lengthy and expensive hospitalization, during which the affected patient loses wages due to not being able to work. If an attorney can demonstrate that the error amounted to a failure to exhibit the requisite standard of care, it could be advisable to then pursue compensation for those losses through a medical malpractice lawsuit.

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