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A look at medication errors in America

A missed diagnosis, an incorrect diagnosis, oxygen deprivation during birth, and an instrument left inside a body are all examples of medical errors. Mistakes that involve prescription medications can also be involved in a medical malpractice claim. Psychology Today reports that an approximated 1.5 million patients in America experience injuries due to medication errors each year.

Overall, medication errors occupy the number four spot on the list of the most dangerous sorts of medical errors. Only unnecessary treatments, dangerous procedures, and inaccurate diagnoses are above medication errors. According to the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy, a medication error is considered to be a preventable event that causes an injury or a wrong use of a drug. Problems can arise at many points along the way from drug manufacture to use of a drug.

One of the types of medication errors involves hospital stays for patients. Many patients who are in the hospital are already on some sort of medication that may or may not be related to the reason for their visit. It was found that in more than 50 percent of cases, these regular medications are not continued to be given to people while in the hospital. This presents an opportunity for an injury to occur.

The wrong medication can be prescribed sometimes even due to a misunderstanding arising out of a misspelling or when two drugs have similar names and become mixed up. There can also be situations in which a person is given a medication that negatively interacts with another drug that they are also taking. These are just a few examples of the types of problems that can occur related to medications.

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