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Some common causes of medication errors

On Behalf of | Oct 11, 2023 | Medication Errors

Every day, patients in California are injured by medication errors. These can occur when a patient is given too much or too little of the correct medication or when they are given the wrong medication altogether. Here are four common reasons why a patient may be administered the wrong medication:

Physician mistakes

Unfortunately, doctors often make mistakes while prescribing medication. These mistakes typically occur because a doctor misdiagnosed a patient’s condition. Recovering from the side effects of medication errors and then correcting a misdiagnosis can be extremely difficult.

Medication mix-ups

Busy hospitals and nursing homes sometimes have medication mix-ups that can lead to devastating consequences. When medications are not correctly labeled with each patient’s information, this can lead to the wrong medication being administered.

Intentional misuse of drugs

It’s scary to think that some unethical physicians and nurses will intentionally administer the wrong medications to patients. These incidents often occur when nursing home staff try to sedate difficult patients. Sometimes, medical personnel that are stealing medication will swap out a patient’s prescribed medication for something else.

Drug abuse by patients

There are also cases where patients take the wrong medication on purpose by lying about their symptoms. This behavior occurs among all age groups, and it is very common among elderly patients. Patients that do this may have developed a drug abuse problem after being prescribed addictive medications in the past.

Recovering from a medication error

It’s important to identify a medication error as soon as possible. The longer a wrong medication is being given to a patient, the more likely the patient is to have an adverse event.