Leeseberg & Valentine

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Are you at risk for a medication error in an Ohio hospital?

Having to stay in the hospital, even for one day, can be stressful and upsetting. If you're scheduled for surgery in an Ohio hospital or you wound up in admittance because of an urgent circumstance such as a car accident injury, you will no doubt be depending on an entire team of licensed medical professionals to help you get well.

While not every person in the hospital has surgery, most people receive some type of care from nurses while they are patients. Regardless of the details that landed you in a hospital bed, if you receive medication while you're there, you're at risk for injury. Although accepted safety standards and regulations help keep you safe, nurses often make medication errors. Knowing where to seek support if a problem arises is a high priority for all hospital patients.

Nurses are taught how to avoid medication mistakes

It's no secret that nurses have busy, often stressful jobs. They must be able to multi-task and make decisions at a moment's notice sometimes. The following list shows numerous cross-check tools most nurses use to avoid making potentially dangerous medication errors:

  • The average nurse would know just what you mean if you were to mention the five rights for medication administration. These five checkpoints include making sure a nurse has the right patient, the right medication, the proper dosage, the correct time and prescribed means of dispensation, meaning oral, syringe, etc.
  • If you transfer from one medical facility to another, nurses have special training to reconcile medication administration in your case. This means they make sure that the medication instructions they receive regarding your care are correct.
  • A shift nurse has access to a medication administration record. He or she should review such records to double or even triple check instructions and procedures.
  • Physicians are capable of error as well. This is why it's helpful for nurses to read back a prescription to the attending physician so he or she can more easily catch a mistake before you, the patient, suffers injury from a medication mishap.
  • Nurses can avoid serious errors by always writing a zero in front of a decimal point when writing medication dosages. You are at risk for serious, if not fatal, injuries if your nurse misreads 0.25 mg as 25 mg.

The way medical staff members store medications can also have efficacy implications. The more you know about Ohio guidelines, as well as your hospital's policies and regulations ahead of time, the more proactive you can be toward your own safety.

If something goes wrong

Sadly, not every patient survives a medication error. This is because some combinations of certain drugs result in lethal concoctions whereas taking one medication while avoiding another would otherwise be safe. If you suffer injury because of a medication error, you'll want to determine if medical negligence was a causal factor in the incident. State law allows victims of medical malpractice to seek monetary judgments against those who caused their injuries.

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