Patient Medication Errors are on the Rise

Posted by admin on July 28th, 2017 in Dogwoodforest | No Comments

Elderly person taking medication, two different pillsA recent study has been released, outlining the fact that more patients are making medication errors than ever before. Of those who make these errors, one-third end up hospitalized. Many people are aware that they either  may have made or have made a mistake and put in a call to the U.S. Poison Control Center. The center receives such a call approximately every two minutes.

When a medication error is reported, the person often says that they took the wrong dose. Others say that they took a double dose, and still others report having mistakenly taken another person’s medication. About 14 of the calls the poison control center receives every day result in medical treatment due to the serious nature of the mistake.

Heart Drugs

The most common errors involve cardiovascular drugs. It’s likely that the number of mistakes are on the rise because the number of prescriptions is on the rise. Just over 20 percent of mistakes involve a cardiovascular drug.

Calcium Channel Blockers

These types of drugs are typically used for cardiac arrhythmias and high blood pressure. They are dangerous when taken at doses that are too high. The drugs can cause a person’s blood pressure to drop far below normal, causing the risk of death.


Another major problem can be insulin. It is not uncommon for diabetics to confuse a morning dose with an evening dose. Many people who are dealing with diabetes take a fast acting insulin in the morning and a slow-acting or lower dose in the evening. Making a mistake with insulin can be dangerous.

Any person who is on medication, but especially those who are on multiple medications, should make a medication journal or log. They should note the number of medications they are on, when the medications were taken, and how many were taken. Experts also recommend a weekly or monthly pill planner, provided they are childproof and stored out of sight of curious little ones. It can also be helpful to set an alarm to alert a person to the need to take their next dose of medication.

Older patients who are less able to keep track of their own medication may need to rely on a family member to give them their medication at the appropriate times. If this is not feasible, a home-health care aide can provide the service. Persons who are dealing with diabetes may want to speak with their doctor about the use of a smart pump, which can be programmed appropriately.

In some cases, your loved one may be able to live a healthier lifestyle at an independent living community in Grayson. Our expert staff cannot only ensure that your loved one takes the right medication with its proper dose, but can provide the social and emotional care your loved one requires. Reach out to our team today to discover more about what we can offer your loved one and your family.