If you or someone you love takes medication in California, it’s important to be aware of the potential for medication errors. These errors can occur for a variety of reasons and can have serious consequences.
Medication errors in California
Medication errors are preventable events that can make or result in a patient using the wrong drugs or the right drug inappropriately. For example, when a doctor prescribes an overdose of the medicine that you need for your condition.
Other common causes include:
- Improper use of a medication
- Confusing two patients who have similar names
- Receiving a medication too late or too early
- Failure to follow clinical advice
- Failure to perform some parts of the medication regimen
Preventing medication errors
Both healthcare professionals and their patients are responsible for preventing medication errors. As a patient, you can do the following:
- Make sure that you know the name of the medication, the dosage, how often to take it, and what time of day to take it.
- Use one pharmacy for all your prescriptions so that the pharmacist can keep track of everything you’re taking.
- Ask your doctor or pharmacist questions about things you don’t understand instead of hoping for the best.
- Keep a list of all medications (including over-the-counter drugs and supplements) that you’re taking, and show this list to your doctor or pharmacist every time you get a new medication.
Actions you can take if the medication error resulted from a healthcare practitioner’s negligence
In California, you can file a malpractice claim if you or your loved one has been injured due to a medical practitioner’s negligence. In your suit, you will have to convince the court that the hospital or healthcare practitioner that owed you a duty of care was negligent, their negligent behavior resulted in your injury and you have suffered damages as a result.
Medication errors can have severe consequences for patients, including illness, injury, and even death. Therefore, it is better to prevent it from occurring than to deal with its consequences.