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Staying safe from medication errors

As people enter a hospital or doctor’s office, they are often putting their full trust in the knowledge, experience and attention of their health care provider to prescribe and give the correct medication. However, mistakes resulting from simple oversight to blatant negligence can be detrimental to a person’s health and well-being. For people seeking medical treatment in Indiana, being fully prepared and educated can help them stay safer from receiving the wrong medication.

According to MedlinePlus, there are several tips that patients can follow when receiving treatment to verify that they are being given the right medication. These include the following:

  • They should be familiar with the names of the medicines they are taking.
  • They should know what times they are supposed to take each of the medicines.
  • They should understand the purpose of each medication and which role it is playing in the treatment and/or recovery process.
  • They should keep a detailed list of medication names, dosage amounts and administration times, and they should speak up if they notice a discrepancy.
  • They should look for distinct labels on all medical equipment and medication for verification. If they do not see these, they should ask medical personnel what the medication is and what it will be used for.
  • They should understand their body and how it reacts to certain medications to help doctors and nurses prescribe the safest and most effective options.
  • They should never bring any supplements or medications from home to avoid the risk of getting them mixed up with medications being taken during treatment.

In an article recently shared by the Washington Post, medical errors now fall immediately behind heart disease and cancer as the third leading cause of death in the United States.   

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