Pharmacy Errors- Everything You Need to Know

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Negligence is a problem that affects all professional fields and it can often lead to serious personal injuries and damages. Furthermore the errors that occur in the medical world are by far the most serious ones of them all. Most people intrust medical professionals with their life and when that trust is breached, people can be severely affected. Pharmacy and medication errors can be prevented but it is important for the proper authorities to be aware of the seriousness and frequency of these errors.

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  • Statistics

According to the National Institute of Health, four out of five U.S. adults use prescribes medication, over the counter drugs or dietary supplements. Furthermore about a third of adult Americans take 5 of more pills each week.

  • How to reduce pharmacy errors

Pharmacy errors can be avoided but in order for this to happen, it is important to raise awareness. The following measures may seem simple but they are quite effective. Legibility is the most important measure in avoiding medication errors but unfortunately few health care providers bother to pay attention to it. Furthermore it is advised to avoid the use of abbreviations. While some doctors still use apothecary or avoirdupois systems, it is best to use the metric system when making a prescription. It is also important for the prescription to contain the age of the patient and even the weight. Needless to say that the prescription has to contain the proper drug name, concentration and form of dosage. As far as concentration goes, quantities less than one should be preceded by zero. However it is advised not to use a trailing zero after the decimal point.

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  • What can the patients do

There are little things that the patients can do in order to prevent pharmacy errors. The most important thing is to make sure that you understand the proper way to administer the drugs. Furthermore if you experience side effects it is important to announce them to the pharmacy as well as the proper authorities. Some states even have a hot line where patients can call in order to report medication errors as well as disturbing side effects.

If you are have been prescribed a certain medical treatment make sure that you follow the dosage instructions. See if your prescription is legible before leaving the doctor’s office. Double check the dosage with the pharmacist in order to avoid confusion. If you experience any disturbing side effects, seize the treatment and contact your doctor as soon as possible. As far as the other precautions go, the solutions are in the hands of medical specialists.