Medication Errors

About 1.3 million people are injured every year in the US from medication errors. The FDA study reports that of fatal medication errors from 1993 to 1998, the most common error involved improper dosing. Almost half of the errors occurred in people over 60 years of age. Older adults may be more at risk simply because they usually take more medications. How can these errors be decreased? Patients themselves must be their own advocates. When you are being given a medication, ask the nurse what the name and dosage is of the medicine. Make sure to keep a current universal medication list with you. This should be used when you are admitted to a hospital or seeing your doctor. If both the healthcare team and the patients themselves work together, medication errors can be decreased.

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