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Causes of medication errors

Medication errors in Iowa can lead to devastating effects. At Galligan Reid PC, we know that an error of this type can claim lives, lead to extended suffering or cause serious side effects. That is why it is important to understand how they occur and what you can do to help prevent an error happening in your care.

The Mayo Clinic defines medication errors as a situation where medication is given incorrectly. This could mean it is given in the wrong dose, at the wrong time or the wrong medication is administered. It also includes medications being given together that are not compatible, producing serious drug interactions. These situations are also entirely preventative because they are caused by human error. This could be someone has written something or read something incorrectly or not read instructions at all and simply made a wrong assumption.

Communication errors are the main cause of this type of medical error. Prescriptions being written incorrectly, confusing abbreviations, similar drug names and a failure of staff to communicate medication directions clearly are all things that lead to such errors.

One of the best ways to prevent medication errors is clearer communication. This is something you can actually take part in. You can take control by asking questions and getting clarification before you take or are given any medications. Insist that medical providers double check orders and verify that labels match what was prescribed. Remember that accidents can happen anywhere from hospitals to pharmacies, so be vigilant. To learn more about medication errors, visit our medical malpractice page. 

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