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Medication Errors

Medication errors always come with the possibilities of danger. In fact, because of this, they are considered to be a kind of medical malpractice because they have the power to cause serious injuries to patients, if not ending in death. Millions of people happen to suffer from such errors every year and out of these millions of people, hundreds of thousands end up dying. Such mistakes do not just end in injured parties and death at times; they could also end up costing billions of pounds every year spent for nothing. Naturally, such errors could be fairly dangerous to everybody involved.

Medication errors tend to happen whenever patients are prescribed the wrong medication dosage or are given the wrong medicine, to begin with. These errors could happen when products are not labelled the right way, when either the doctor or pharmacist exhibits a kind of negligence as the order is placed or filled or when miscommunication occurs when placing the orders of prescription.

Wrong knowledge of general abbreviations would be a common cause when it comes to these errors. Whenever prescriptions are written out by doctors or pharmacists, it is possible for them to make use of abbreviations when showing which dosage or drug needs to be given to their patients. Because of handwriting discrepancies, however, such abbreviations could sometimes appear to symbolize something completely different to the person giving out the medication. For instance, "u" that stands for "units" could get mistaken as zeros, depending on what the handwriting of the pharmacist or doctor looks like. Obviously, this could significantly affect the amount of medicine that the patient consumes, thus opening doors for possible injuries and fatalities that could have otherwise been avoided.

So, what can be done to avoid such errors from happening? A lot of steps exist that can be taken after being given prescriptions to stop possible bodily damage because of these errors. While mistakes that can be attributed to the prescribers may still happen, following these precautions could significantly reduce any injury risks anyway:

- Double-check any medications with personal doctors after prescriptions have been filled out for you.

- If the prescription that is given to you is written by hand, make sure that every part of it s completely legible before bringing it to a pharmacy and getting your fill of it.

- Write the medication and dosage down before giving the prescription to your pharmacist. Check any medicine given to you against what you have written down prior to consuming it.

- Ensure that you go to a pharmacy which is famous for its great customer service and care. The pharmacists that work there need to be trained well, so that they are less likely to actually make any medication errors.

By following these steps, it would be much less likely for you to suffer from ingesting dangerous medications. However, you should still know that not every risk will be eliminated by doing this. If you begin to feel sick after starting your medication, get in touch with your personal physician as soon as possible, regardless of how careful you thought you were.

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