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More than half of heart patients suffer from medication error

When individuals in New York suffer from an ailment, it is common for them to seek medical assistance. Medical professionals will work to determine the cause of their symptoms and might address them with medical interventions such as medication. When a doctor fails to prescribe the appropriate medicine or fails to provide proper instructions, medication errors could occur. This could cause worsened medical conditions or new medical problems, resulting in serious injuries to the patient.

A recent study focused on mistakes made by heart patients with regards to the medications they were prescribed. Researchers discovered that more than half of the heart patients in the United States have made mistakes when it came to taking medications listed on their discharge papers or misunderstood instructions provided for them after they left the hospital.

Those patients with the lowest literacy were the most likely to make risky errors regarding their prescriptions. This highlights the importance of receiving adequate and understandable instructions before patients leave the hospital so they know what to do when they get home. Furthermore, instructions should be devised so patients are able to look back at them and fully understand them.

When a heart patient is discharged from the hospital, some prescriptions have the potential to be harmful or even deadly to them if they are not taken properly. If a doctor fails to ensure the patient understands a medication, this could be designated as doctor negligence.

When a patient is harmed due to an error made by a medical professional, they might have a cause of action. A medical malpractice suit could provide the injured patient with compensation to cover associated costs such as medical expenses, rehabilitation, lost wages and other related damages.

When a patient seeks medical treatment or surgery, they put a lot of trust in the medical staff that interacts with them. When a medical professional fails to inform the patient about their medication or doesn't provide them with adequate instruction, a patient could suffer greatly. This could result in a cause of action to recover compensation for the expenses and damages a patient incurred as a result.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Medication errors may be common after hospital discharge," Krystnell Storr, July 18, 2014

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Michael J. Gaffney, Attorney at Law
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