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Medication errors pose health risk for patients

When Minnesota residents Minnesota seek medical help, they expect to receive the right medication for their illness. On any given week, four-fifths of adults in the United States use a prescription medicine, over-the-counter option or a natural substitute, while 33% take five or more different medicines at the same time. When people take multiple drugs, they are more likely to suffer adverse events or side effects. In some cases, people may face severe injuries or life-threatening complications as a result of adverse drug interactions or mistaken prescriptions. This may be especially dangerous when doctors and pharmacies fail to carry out their responsibilities to protect their patients against dangerous drug interactions.

In some cases, doctors may be unaware that patients are taking other medications, but in other cases, they do not check to confirm that people are receiving multiple drugs or determine how they may interact with one another. In other cases, people may receive an incorrect dose of what would otherwise be a correct prescription. Children may be especially vulnerable to this type of dosage error because of the reduced doses they require.

Some types of medication errors may lead to immediate symptoms, while others may cause long-term effects that are only discovered through lab testing, such as kidney or liver problems. Doctors may have a responsibility to follow up when prescribing medications that may be more likely to cause serious side effects. In other cases, people may receive the wrong drug altogether, leading to ineffective treatment, side effects and a worsened health condition.

Medication errors may pose a serious risk to patients' safety, whether they are in the hospital or taking their medicines at home. People who have been injured by a medication mistake may consult with a medical malpractice attorney about the potential to pursue a claim for compensation.

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