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How can you prevent drug errors?

Preventing medication errors is important for the safety of patients. If you've ever received and taken the wrong medication, you're already aware of the danger that put you in. Combining the wrong medications can be dangerous or deadly. Your attorney may be able to help you file a case against the negligent party if you've been injured by drug errors, but in the future, there are some tips for staying safe.

How can you make sure you're receiving the right medications?

Make sure you're the right patient. Nurses, doctors, pharmacists or other medical practitioners should ask for your name and date of birth to confirm that the prescription and medication is for you.

The next step is to make sure you have the right drug. You can look up what the drug is meant to look like in its generic form or brand form, so you know if your drug appears correct. If markings or colors look wrong, make sure you ask your doctor to verify that you have the right medication before you take it.

If you're scared that a drug might interact with other medications you're on, it's okay to ask your doctor to look at his drug handbook to be certain of all interactions. Sometimes, doctors do make mistakes, so you may be able to catch an error before you end up suffering side effects.

Remind your doctor about your allergies every time you get a prescription. You might feel that it's annoying to do so, but reminding the doctor is better than having an allergy slip his mind and putting you in the hospital later.

Source: Nurse Buff, "How to prevent medication errors: 12 effective tips for nurses," accessed June 29, 2016

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