Are medication errors a major problem?

On Behalf of | Feb 15, 2023 | Medication Errors

Over 6,000 medications currently exist on the market. Thus, mix-ups and other similar errors are bound to happen every so often.

Unfortunately, in the cases where this leads to adverse or even potentially fatal reactions, it counts as medical malpractice.

Errors from medication misunderstanding

Medication errors can happen in a variety of ways and may occur at any level of hospital or medical care.  The National Law Review blames even poor handwriting on a number of these serious medication errors. A whopping 61 percent of medical errors reportedly happen because of this.

Other errors stem from a misunderstanding of a certain medicine’s side effects, or an incomplete history of a patient. Without a full history, it is much easier to accidentally prescribe something that could react poorly with a preexisting condition or medication the patient is already on.

Administration and preparation stage errors

Generally speaking, the highest number of errors happen in administration. However, they can also happen anywhere from manufacturing to distribution, or even within the pharmacy.

Another common form of error is when a patient receives the right medication but in the wrong way, such as accidentally getting an oral medication through an IV.

The preparation stage also has a lot of room for error. This is the stage where someone prepares a dosage at the wrong strength, which can potentially worsen a person’s condition or bring on terrible side effects.

Just one seemingly small error could end up severely impacting a patient’s health or even threatening their life, which is why careful management is so important.


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