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Prescription medications: Adverse events can kill

| Oct 25, 2018 | Doctor Errors |

With prescription medications, there’s always a risk of complications for patients. A patient may not know that they’re allergic to a medication, or a patient might have medications that interact with one another and take them without knowing the risks.

It’s impossible to prevent every adverse event from happening, but doctors and pharmacists can try. Here are a few things to know about adverse events and how to prevent them.

1. Adverse events led to around 1.3 million emergency room visits in 2014

Adverse events led to many emergency room visits in 2014, and some of those did end up being fatal. Around 124,000 people died from adverse events. This may include asphyxia from anaphylaxis, overdoses and other events leading to death.

2. Experts believe that medication-related adverse events are preventable much of the time

Up to half of all adverse events could be preventable with the right knowledge and safety precautions. Some practices that could help prevent life-threatening events include updating patient histories, prescribing clear instructions and counseling patients on appropriate medication usage.

3. Multiple pharmacy use hurts patients

Pharmacists can only stop interactions if they know one is happening. Fill your prescriptions at the same place, so they have all your medications on file. That way, the pharmacist can tell you if there is a risk of an adverse event if you mix your medications.

Doctors and pharmacists are all humans, and they can make mistakes. Taking your own precautions can help you protect yourself. Adverse events have the potential to kill, and prevention can save lives. An attorney can explain your rights if you are injured or a loved one dies because of an adverse event with medication.

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