Medication Errors Research Paper

Even in today’s modern world, medication errors in healthcare are alarmingly common. In the United States alone, an estimated four out of every five adults will use prescription medicines or over the counter drugs. One third of adults will use five or more different medications. 1 Medications given are normally beneficial to the recipient, resulting in improvements in health. However, these benefits also come with increased risks that can be detrimental as seen in adverse drug events. Adverse drug events or ADEs are injuries resulting from medical intervention related to a drug, including overdoses, allergic reactions, and adverse drug reactions. ADEs affect approximately 5 % of hospitalized patients and higher rates in ambulatory patients. …show more content…
In order to evaluate the importance of this matter, we will discuss types of medication errors, ways to prevent these errors, and how the patients themselves can help prevent these errors. The types of medication errors can be derived from numerous sources such as choosing a medicine, writing the prescription, manufacturing and dispensing the formulation, administering or taking the drug, monitoring failure. The most common medication error is the administration of improper doses of medicine where the dose is greater than or less than the amount ordered by the prescriber or administration. This accounts for 41% of fatal medication errors. 16% of error comes from administering the wrong dosage and route (4). Majority of fatal medication errors occurred in people over the age of 60. Polypharmacy, where five or more drugs are in use, is more common in this age group, placing them at the greatest risk for medication errors. This is occurs more frequently in people aged over 65 and leads to adverse drug reactions and drug-drug interactions. When it comes to prescribing errors, prescriptions are either inappropriate, ineffective, under/overprescribed. Illegible prescriptions can also lead to errors. Omission error is the failure …show more content…
In a psychological classification, there are four broad types of medication errors: knowledge-based, ruled-based, action-based, and memory based. In knowledge-based errors, a lack of knowledge is demonstrated such as giving penicillin without determining whether or not the patient is allergic. Another example is being unaware of the interaction between certain drugs such as warfarin and erythromycin which leads to warfarin toxicity. The lack of communication between providers and patient can also play a key role in this type of error. In ruled-based errors, individuals use bad rules or misapply a good rule such as injecting Diclofenac into the lateral thigh instead of the buttock. Action-based errors are slips of the mind. An example would be picking up a bottle of Celebrex (for arthritis), when intending to use Celexa (for depression). In a memory-based error (lapses), one could forget to specify a maximum daily dose for an “as required drug” which could lead to poisoning or unnecessary treatment (8). While medication errors frequently exist in healthcare, it is important to realize that these errors can be

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