A medication error can occur when a wrong medication, or wrong dosage of a medication, is prescribed. This may be due to an error in diagnosis, a misinterpretation of orders, or another form of human error by a doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Common examples of medication errors include:
- the patient may be prescribed the wrong medication
- the wrong dose may be prescribed of the right medication
- the medication is prescribed for an incorrect length of time
- a doctor prescribes a medication that causes an allergic reaction in the patient
- a medication is prescribed that interacts with another medication the patient is taking
- the doctor prescribes a medication that includes warnings from the manufacturer but fails to relay these to the patient
- a medication is given that causes harm because of a patient’s other health conditions
- the doctor fails to have an informed consent discussion with the patient before prescribing the medication
Unfortunately, medication errors are considered one of the most common medical errors and can sometimes lead to serious consequences for the patient.
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