PATIENT EDUCATION SERIES: Protecting yourself against medical errors

July 2006 
Volume 36  Number 7
Pages 49 - 49
  PDF Version Available!


Medical errors are health care mistakes that may injure you or affect your well-being. Errors can happen in a medical setting, such as the hospital or in your home. For example, you might be given the wrong drug, the wrong dosage, or the wrong type of blood, or have an operation on the wrong body part. Fortunately, most errors can be prevented, and you can help.

How can I help prevent medicine errors?

Keep a list of all medicines you use. Make sure you know what each one is for, how and when to take it, what to do if you miss a dose, and when to tell your primary care provider about side effects.

Write down all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines and herbal supplements. Go over your list with your primary care provider at least once a year. Tell him about any allergies you have and about any reactions you've had to medicines or anesthesia.

Take your medicines as directed. If you have trouble swallowing a ...

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