North Carolina residents who have drug prescriptions could be seriously injured if they skip a dose, take the wrong amount or eat foods that don’t interact well with the drugs that they are taking. These types of medication mistakes are very common. and lead to around 90,000 fatal or life-threatening incidents each year in the U.S.
According to the Institute of Medicine, there are at least 500,000 mistakes each year that involve medications taken at home. Elderly people are particularly prone to medication errors at home because they are often taking multiple prescription drugs at the same time. One of the most common drug errors is sloppy measuring, and one survey found that nearly 75 percent of people use kitchen spoons to measure liquid medication instead of the proper dispenser.
Another common drug error that people often make at home is missing doses of prescription medications. Skipping drug doses can have serious consequences when a person is taking drugs such as warfarin, diabetes medication, high blood pressure medication or antibiotics. These kinds of drugs must be maintained at a steady level in the blood in order to be effective. People could also make a medication mistake if they eat the wrong foods while taking certain prescription medications. For example, grapefruit juice can be dangerous when it is combined with statins or allergy medications.
Patients are not the only people who make mistakes with medications. Doctors, nurses and pharmacists can also make serious medication errors when they give a patient the wrong drug, prescribe a dangerous combination of drugs or fail to recognize a patient’s drug allergy. A lawyer can often assist a person who has been harmed in such a manner to seek compensation through a medical professional negligence lawsuit.