A recent medical mix-up has you thinking about ways to prevent a similar mistake. If a medical crisis lands you in the emergency room, how can you help avoid a medication error?
U.S. News & World Report offers several tips to help patients sidestep avoidable prescription errors. Learn how to advocate for and protect your health.
Ensure health facilities keep your medical records up-to-date
You may have an extensive medical and prescription history. If so, make sure that medical facilities keep your records updated and accurate. You may switch to different medical settings, which requires ensuring that all of your medical and prescription records transition with you.
Keep a list of your most-current medications on you
When you go to the emergency room, bring a list of your current medications, noting the dosage on that list, too. If you take several prescriptions, keep your prescription list on you at all times in case you receive medical attention while unconscious. That way, the emergency room staff knows how to treat you and avoid a negative drug interaction. If you ever stop or start a new drug, note it on your list as soon as possible. Also, note your drug allergies on the list.
Do not forget to mention over-the-counter medication
If you take supplements or other over-the-counter medication, such as a cold medication, laxative or pain reliever, include that information on the list mentioned above. You should also mention your over-the-counter medication when the emergency room staff asks if you take any medication. Supplements may seem minor, but some herbal remedies interact poorly with blood thinners, a fact that you do not want to find out the hard way with firsthand experience.