On average, one out of every three people in New Jersey and across the nation use more than five medications at one time. On any given week, 80% of adults will need a prescription drug or take a supplement according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. Those who take multiple drugs at the same time could be at a higher risk of an error that could result in significant injury or death.
However, there are ways that individuals can lower their risk of a medication error. For example, patients are encouraged to follow dosage instructions as closely as possible. This is especially true if two or more people in the same household use the same medication. Individuals are also encouraged to keep a list of all the medications that they are taking and who prescribed them. Doing so may reduce the chances of a drug interaction.
If a doctor schedules a follow-up appointment, it is important to make that important. Those who notice changes to their physical or mental health after using a medication should see their doctor immediately. In some cases, only a lab test can determine what is actually happening to a person’s body. Finally, anyone who is taking medication should be sure to use it as instructed to prevent an error from occurring.
Those who experience side effects after taking a medication could be victims of medical malpractice. Examples of malpractice include giving a patient the wrong medication or instructing that person to take an incorrect dose. Individuals who are harmed by a medical error could be entitled to compensation if it is determined that the error was caused by a medical professional’s negligence. Medical records or expert witnesses may help a person obtain a favorable outcome in a malpractice case.