New York residents who have a loved one who receives medical care outside of a clinic may be interested to learn that serious medication errors have doubled within a 13-year period. According to a study, the most common mistakes were wrong medication errors and incorrect dosage.
The study found that in 2000, there were 1.09 medication errors for every 100,000 people. In 2012, the rate of medication errors for every 100,000 individuals was 2.28. While these medication errors occurred mostly in homes, they affected those of all ages and involved a large variety of medications. The study also found that cardiovascular and analgesic medications had the most serious outcomes and accounted for 66 percent of all fatalities reported in the study. About 33 percent of all medication errors resulted in hospitalization. The study did find that the rate of medication errors in children actually went down after 2005 due to a warning released by the Food and Drug Administration regarding giving cough and cold medicines to kids.
According to a co-author of the study, drug manufacturers and pharmacists could have an impact on reducing the number of medication mistakes that occur. For example, product packaging and labels could be made clearer for caretakers. Furthermore, dosing instructions could be improved, particularly for those who have limited numeracy and literacy.
When used properly, prescription medications can allow a patient to live a healthier life. However, if a caretaker or doctor gives or prescribes a dangerous combination of prescriptions, the patient could suffer medical complications that could even result in death. If a patient is given medications and suffers complications as a result, an attorney could potentially file a medical malpractice claim against the health care professional who prescribed the dangerous combination of drugs.