Top 10 Medication Errors – Failing to Adjust Medication Dosages
In this series, we have explored some of the many different ways that a patient might suffer harm as a result of a medication error. Once your doctor prescribes you a drug, the duty to ensure that you are being treated appropriately does not end there. As you start taking the drug and begin taking other drugs, or your health conditions change, the drugs that you are currently taking may need to be adjusted.
If a medical provider fails to adjust your medication, you may suffer devastating injuries. Monitoring a drug and determining whether a modification should be made should be a routine part of your healthcare provider’s treatment plan.
Monitoring a Prescription Iis Critical to Your Health
There are many reasons why a doctor may need to change a drug’s dosage. If a patient still suffers symptoms, a dosage increase may be warranted. Changes in a patient’s general health may also require an adjustment to prevent a patient from taking too much medicine.
MSN Health reports that a common and serious doctor error is a failure to decrease medications when a patient’s liver or kidney function is compromised. The liver and kidneys help to rid the body of toxins and foreign substances. If the organs begin to deteriorate, this function can be reduced or lost. When that happens, medications can build up in the body, leading to medicine toxicity.
There are many medications that should not be prescribed until a doctor tests liver and kidney function first. Safety studies indicate those tests are not happening, sometimes leading to deadly drug errors.
When treating a patient with certain conditions or medications, it is necessary for a doctor to order periodic blood tests to determine the levels of these medications in the patient’s blood. If the levels are considered too low or too high to be effective, the doctor may need to adjust the dosage. This can help to prevent overdoses and other medication errors.
Protect Yourself From Drug Dosage Mistakes
Many of us trust our healthcare providers to take good care of us and to make sure that we are taking the right drugs in the right dosages. It can be easy to assume that your doctor or healthcare provider is doing everything necessary and following all of the right procedures.
But because mistakes do happen when it comes to failing to adjust a dosage, it is important to advocate for yourself and to make sure that your healthcare provider is providing you with the level of care that you deserve.
A few ways that you can protect yourself from injuries due to failing to adjust medication dosages include:
- Update your doctor when things change – It is important to notify your doctor of any health changes that might occur, particularly if you begin to suffer the loss of liver or kidney function. If you are taking a prescription that mentions liver or kidney function in the drug information, it may be prudent to ask your doctor if you have had liver and kidney function screenings recently.
- Read the label – If you have not read the labels for your current prescriptions, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with them. You should also read any labels for new drugs that you are prescribed.
- Let your doctor know if something does not feel right – If you are taking a prescription and start to feel side effects or have concerns about how the prescription is working, call your healthcare provider immediately. It is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to preventing a medication error.
- Ask questions – Your healthcare providers are meant to help you and keep you healthy. Do not be afraid to ask questions about prescriptions, whether monitoring is necessary, and how you should expect to feel when taking a prescription.
Taking Legal Action After a Medication Error Due to Failure to Monitor Dosages
Learning that your injuries happened because your healthcare provider failed to monitor your prescriptions can be incredibly frustrating. You may feel hopeless and like you are stuck dealing with the physical, emotional, and financial outcome of the situation. In some cases, however, you may be able to hold your healthcare provider responsible for their mistake.
Distasio Law Firm can help you fight for compensation after a medication error. This may include:
- Working with expert consultants to determine how your healthcare provider made a mistake
- Calculating the amount of damages that you may be able to claim in the lawsuit
- Determining who may owe you compensation
For a free consultation about your case, call us now. Our personal injury practice includes medication errors of many different types. Dial (813) 259-0022 today to get started.