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Medication errors are common and can be serious


When a Pittsburgh resident has to go to the hospital, he or she generally has a serious health concern. Hospitals are designed to help patients with serious medical conditions get better. But sometimes a patient can suffer additional injuries like medication errors when they are in the hospital.

There are many ways a patient can suffer from a medication error while in the hospital. There is no typical medication error, and they can happen to anyone. Some examples of medication errors include a patient receiving the wrong medication, the wrong dosage can be given to a patient, a patient can be given more of a drug than was intended or a patient is given someone else's medication.

These errors can come from poor communication among medical staff, handwriting that can't be read correctly, drug names that are confusing, labeling and packaging of medication that is confusing or employee knowledge that may not be where it should be. Patients should be aware that these medication errors can occur during their hospital stay. If they believe that they have been the victim of a medication error, they may want to speak with a legal professional about the possibility of pursuing a medical malpractice claim. In some cases, patients who are harmed by otherwise preventable medication errors may be able to seek compensation for their damages.

Medication errors such as dosage mistakes can happen to anyone. Medical professionals need to be careful when prescribing and administering these drugs to make sure they aren't harming the patient. Medical negligence should not be tolerated; patients should make sure they understand their rights.

Source: fda.gov, "Strategies to reduce medication errors: Working to improve medication safety", Oct. 23, 2015

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