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One half of heart patients experience medication mistakes

The prescription medications that are a product of modern medicine have saved countless lives of the residents of Massachusetts. However, medication mistakes and pharmaceutical errors can and do happen. Sometimes, these medical errors can have grave consequences.

Unfortunately, problems can occur when certain medications are taken together, producing negative side effects. There can also be mistakes in the dosage as prescribed by a medical professional or as dispensed by the pharmacist. Sometimes, a patient can even be given someone else's prescription by mistake.

A new study now reveals that over one half of all of the heart patients who are released from the hospital experience serious issues involving their medications. These issues include not taking the right drugs, taking the wrong dose of the drugs or taking the medication for an incorrect period of time.

According to the study, even when there was extra pharmacist intervention and follow up with the patients, medication errors still occurred 50 percent of the time. In fact, what is most alarming is that slightly less than 25 percent of the errors were serious ones, and two percent were even life-threatening.

The study recommends that patients immediately meet with their regular pharmacist and primary care doctor after leaving the hospital. They should also never assume that a pharmacist has a list of all the medications they are taking. In fact, this is usually not the case. Everyone who is taking prescription medications should carry a list of all the medications they take, the doses of each medication and the reasons for taking the medications.

However, even when one has taken all of the proper precautions, pharmaceutical malpractice can occur. If someone is unfortunate enough to be given an improper medical prescription due to the negligence of a medical professional, they must inform themselves of their rights to seek compensation under the law.

Due to time limitations, it is important to act quickly if one believes they have been the victim of a pharmaceutical error. One may have the right to seek compensation such as reimbursement of past medical expenses, future medical expenses, compensation for pain and suffering and other monetary damage as a result of medical negligence.

Source: Fox News, "Half of all heart patients make medication errors," July 10, 2012

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