Modern medicine can provide many people with improved health and longer lives. Medications and prescription drugs have a lot to do what that. Certain medications can kill cancer, stave off blood clots or strokes, or control a lifelong viral infection. Others can help you process sugar and fight off bacteria that won’t die on its own.
Modern drugs can save lives and extend lives. However, when they get administered improperly, the results can be devastating. One common source of medication complications is the dreaded drug interaction. Another is when a medical professional accidentally gives someone the wrong medication. These mistakes can have life-threatening results for patients, and, in some cases, may constitute medical malpractice.
Drug interactions are a major source of medication injury
Prescription medications have a marked impact on the human body. Some of them, however, also have an impact on other drugs. Certain medications can strengthen the function of other drugs, which is called synergism. Other times, an interaction can result in unpredictable side effects, which can be medically dangerous. Some drugs actually reduce the efficacy of other medications, meaning that they could keep your birth control or antibiotics from working properly.
Whatever the effects of drug interactions, these mistakes should not happen. Doctors should be carefully reviewing all medications taken by a patient before administering or prescribing a new one. Pharmacists and dispensing professionals in hospitals should also be checking for interactions. When professionals don’t catch a potential interaction before administering a drug, the patient usually pays the price.
Administration mistakes can cause serious medical harm
When a nurse, aide or other medical professional gives a patient the wrong medication, the results can be disastrous. Many medications, including blood thinners, psychiatric medications and antibiotics, require regular administration for full function. Missed doses can reduce the efficacy of the drug. If the issue isn’t quickly corrected, the patient could end up suffering.
The wrong medication can also have a direct negative impact on a patient. Sometimes, this can be the result of an allergy. Many people are allergic to certain medications, including pain pills or even common antibiotics. If a person with an allergy receives a drug that he or she can’t safely take, there could be permanent or even fatal consequences.
Nurses and aides have a lot of work to do, and it’s easy to understand how someone could hand a patient the wrong pills in a busy ward. That’s why it is so important for medical facilities to have procedures in place to prevent this kind of mistake. Patients who end up sickened or injured from medication mistakes may need to seek compensation via a medical malpractice claim.