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Medication errors put patient health at risk

When Iowa residents visit a doctor or a hospital due to an illness, they may expect to receive a correct diagnosis and proper treatment. When they go to the pharmacy to fill their prescription, they may expect to receive an appropriate drug to treat their condition. However, in too many cases, medication errors may interfere with people receiving the care they need. In some cases, these mistakes may even lead to more serious health conditions. There are several issues that patients can look out for in an attempt to protect their well-being.

Electronic medical records and computerized systems are meant to add precision to the health care system. In some cases, however, they are linked to medication errors. Doctors or pharmacists may enter only the first few letters of a drug before they are directed to select an option. It can be too easy to choose the wrong drug, and an incorrect prescription could lead to dangerous side effects. Patients may want to stay alert to ensure that the name on their prescription bottle matches the medication they are expecting.

In other cases, medication errors are linked to older technologies. During a verbal or phone communication, the person on the other end may mishear the name of the drug or the dosage, especially in a busy hospital or clinic environment. As a result, the patient may be given an improper dosage or the wrong medication.

Of course, medication errors are only one type of medical mistake that can affect a patient’s health. An incorrect diagnosis or a failure to diagnose a disease can also be devastating. People who have suffered a worsened health condition due to such an error may want to consult with a medical malpractice attorney about their options to seek compensation.

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