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2 common medication errors to avoid

Medication is a necessity for many people in the Atlanta area. They trust their doctors and pharmacists to provide them with the medication needed to manage their health. They, just like you, might not see anything wrong with trusting those health care professionals implicitly. However, such professionals make mistakes just like everyone else. When they do not follow proper medication prescribing and administration protocol, the risk of medication errors increases, leaving patients at risk of harm and death. 

Though you might feel concerned about the increase in medical malpractice claims you keep hearing about in the news, you should not avoid medical attention when you need it. Keep the following information about prescription drug mistakes in mind to avoid complications: 

1. Poor communication 

Doctors and nurses see numerous patients every day. They work long hours and become tired, distracted and unfocused. They may not realize when they fall short of their duties and obligations to patients. As a result, communication between nurses, doctors and other health care workers responsible for the delivery and administration of medication can experience a breakdown that keeps them from thoroughly discussing patients’ medication needs. 

2. Label mix-ups 

Many medications have similar names. Because hospitals and medical facilities are such busy places, health care workers who procure, inventory, dispense and administer medication sometimes do not take enough time to properly identify and verify medication name, dosage and the patient taking it before administering it. 

When people receive the wrong medications and dosages, adverse reactions are likely. Not all signs of medication errors are obvious. Before you accept medication recommendations from your medical care providers, be sure to have them verify your name, date of birth, the reason for the medical visit as well as proper spelling and pronunciation of all medications and prescriptions. They should also review normal and abnormal side effects. 

Prescription and education errors are common, but they are also preventable. Speak up to get the physicians and other health care personnel you trust to perform their jobs right to protect you from medical mistakes and malpractice issues.

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