Medication errors are some of the most common forms of medical malpractice in New Mexico. Although people can cause medication errors on their own by taking too much of an over-the-counter drug or by mixing up medications, the errors caused by medical professionals are usually much more severe and can have permanent adverse effects.
The consequence of medication errors
The Federal Food and Drug Administration receives reports of more than 100,000 suspected medication errors each year. The adverse effects of receiving wrong medication could include:
- Various life-threatening situation
- Birth defects
The FDA tries to minimize errors through several methods, such as creating propriety drug names to minimize confusion, using clear container labels that identify drugs, and making prescription and general information about the medication clear and easy to read.
Getting the correct drugs to patients
Even with clear labeling and available, medication errors can still occur. Some drugs and biological product labels have barcodes that must be scanned by the individual administering the drug. Manufacturer packaging can sometimes be wrong, for example, by confusing milligrams with milliliters, resulting in a wrong dosage. At other times, medical professionals may not pay attention to drug interactions or take a full history of patients, which can result in a person receiving a drug to which they are allergic or are unable to tolerate.
To prevent medication errors, keep records of all drugs prescribed to you by your doctor. Likewise, you should keep track of all medication records if you or a family member is in the hospital for a procedure. If you suspect medication errors, consulting with a medical malpractice attorney might result in receiving compensation for any injuries or disabilities that you or a loved one endured.