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Primary causes of prescription drug mistakes

Upon hearing the term “medical error” or “medical malpractice”, many people’s minds think about things like an instrument being left inside a patient’s body after a surgery or not having a serious condition properly diagnosed. These are some examples of errors that can result in harm or even death to patients in Maryland but there are many other types as well. Several people may experience problems relating to medications that they are prescribed by doctors.

Becker’s Hospital Review reported on the results of a study that outlined the top 10 causes of harm or death to patients related to prescription medications. Interestingly, the number one cause on the list was not even about a drug. Over 37% of people experienced an error due to a delay in the prescription being issued or filled or to the prescription being forgotten altogether. Being given a drug that the person is allergic to or that negatively interacts with another medication were other causes on the list. Being given a high dose at the outset and then tapering the amount was also found to be connected to many problems.

Specific types of medications involved in some of the errors included anticoagulants, opioids, insulin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, oxygen or any medication that required regular patient monitoring through blood tests.

If you would like to learn more about errors involving prescription medications and what factors you should watch out for to hopefully prevent a problem or how you can get help after experiencing a problem related to being prescribed a drug, please feel free to visit the drug errors page of our Maryland medical malpractice website.