The hazards of medication error are known to many Americans, including residents of Oklahoma. Medication errors can lead to unwanted complications through no fault of their own. It is essential for healthcare providers and facilities to adopt adequate preventive measure to reduce the risk of wrong medication or wrong dosage.
Per the National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention’s definition, a medication error is any preventable event that that has the potential to harm a patient. While that medication is being administered either by a healthcare professional, the patient himself or any other consumer. Medication errors can occur because of a wrong drug, a dosage mistake, allergies, negative side-effects or even the failure to read doctor’s handwriting properly.
The federal government has taken several steps to help reduce the risk of medication errors. The Division of Medication Error Prevention and Analysis (DMEPA) has been established within the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research to review reports of medication error on drugs given to humans including generic drugs, prescription drugs and drugs that are available over the counter.
Healthcare professionals at the DMEPA review reports and analyze data to evaluate the damage caused by medication errors and provide methods to reduce the risk of these errors. The DMEPA also reviews the proprietary names, packaging and labeling on drugs before their market release to reduce the risk of medication errors.
The Food and Drug Administration Department has issued several regulations and guidelines on product names, product labeling and packaging practices in order to prevent medication errors due to misleading labeling or similar sounding names. They have also launched a campaign against unclear medical abbreviations and error prone dose designation.
Victims of medication error or wrong dosage resulting from the negligence of a health care professional are entitled to claim compensation for lost wages, additional medical expenses and pain and suffering. The compensation may help tremendously to get them back on their feet.
Source: FDA.gov, “Medication Errors,” accessed on Dec 12, 2014.