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Medication errors can occur in various forms

All patients who take medication are at risk for being the victim of a medication error. These errors can sometimes lead to very minor consequences, but other errors can be deadly. All patients should do what they can to prevent medication errors, but ultimately, the medical professionals who work on a case should have protocols in place to prevent medical errors.

One issue that can cause problems occurs when you are on more than one medication. This opens the door for drug interactions. It is crucial that your medical care providers all have the most up-to-date list of medications that they can review to ensure that any prescriptions that are changed or added don't interact with the other medications you are taking.

Another issue that can come up is that you don't receive the correct medication when you have a prescription filled or receive medication at the hospital. When you are filling prescriptions, make sure the pills look the same as what you have received before. If you haven't filled the prescription before, look for the pill description so that you can verify it is the correct pill. If you notice any discrepancies, speak up and ask questions.

Anytime that you think something is amiss with your medications, you should make sure that you take appropriate action. While it is up to medical professionals to ensure you get the proper medications, you must be your own advocate. If you are harmed by a medication error because of a medical professional's errors, you might decide to pursue a claim for compensation.

Source: Institute for Safe Medical Practices, "How to Prevent Medication Errors," accessed April 08, 2016

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