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Communication to blame for many medication errors

One of the leading causes of preventable patient harm involves medication error. These mishaps can be caused by any number of mistakes including administering the wrong dose and prescribing the wrong meds. Because the consequences of medication errors can be serious, Maryland patients should be aware of their legal rights in the event they are harmed by these incidences.

Medication errors can happen in any healthcare setting from a primary care office to a hospital emergency room. What is worse is medication errors are far more serious and common than people realize. In fact, a fall issue of Forbes magazine noted an estimated one million medication errors occur annually in the U.S., contributing to about 7,000 deaths. That is one medication error every day for every inpatient.

While nothing can fully prevent the negligent acts of our healthcare professionals, there are a few simple things Maryland patients can do to decrease the chance of a medication error. One of the most important things patients can do is to ensure that they are communicating with their doctor. This includes brining a copy of your medications with you and staying current on your computerized healthcare records.

Far too often, dangerous medication errors occur, taking innocent patients by surprise. When this happens, severe harm can be caused to the victim's health and finances. A Maryland medical malpractice attorney may be able to assist those who have been injured seek the compensation they deserve. A successful case may allow the victim to recover medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Source: Buffalo News, "Protect yourself from medical errors," Dr. Zorba Paster, December 07, 2013

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