Over 9,000 people die from medication errors annually, and even more will suffer lifelong consequences. Afterwards, patients and their families face substantial medical debts, more and more time away from work and the emotional toll a trauma like this inflicts. A single incorrect dosage can lead to thousands of dollars of additional costs.
Children and the elderly are at greatest risk for adverse effects
Perhaps unsurprisingly, children and vulnerable adults are most likely to experience a medication error. Often, neither group is able to advocate for themselves or to express the discomfort or issues caused by these errors. And, often, they experience the worst symptoms, like disability, hospitalization and death.
Medication errors are incredibly easy to make, especially when a medical professional is distracted, inattentive or negligent. In some cases, the medication issue can even be caused by the medication or by a medical device. For instance, over 26,000 diabetics experienced insulin administration issues after a malfunction with Medtronic’s insulin pumps.
Prevention and early detection are key to reducing medication errors. As an advocate for yourself or your loved one, you should always be aware of the medication regimes doctors and medical professionals administer. Similarly, you should not be afraid to point out when something seems wrong.
What happens afterwards?
After you receive immediate medical attention, you need to pay attention to the long-term impact. Some symptoms take years to truly manifest, especially in children. As you notice symptoms, go out of your way to document them and to get medical attention.
You may also want to consider a settlement or litigation. Some insurance companies will offer you a settlement quickly, before you really know the ways the medication error will affect you or your loved one. Be patient, and consult with professionals to ensure you have full support.