We will all at some point in our lives take medication to prevent or treat illness.
However, medications sometimes cause serious harm if taken in the wrong way. Both health professionals and patients can make mistakes by prescribing, delivering, preparing, using or using the wrong medication or the wrong dose at the wrong time, which can cause serious injury, disability and even death.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), drug errors cause at least one death every day and injure approximately 1.3 million people each year in the United States of America alone.
“We are all expecting help, not harm, when we are on medication,” said Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General. “Apart from human costs, drug errors place a huge and unnecessary burden on health budgets. Preventing mistakes saves money and saves lives.”
The WHO has launched a global program to reduce serious drug-related preventable injuries in all countries by 50% over the next five years.
But all medication errors can be avoided Preventing the mistakes and side effects that need to put systems and procedures in place to ensure that the right patient receives the right dose at the right dose at the right time.
Medication errors can be caused by health care fatigue, overcrowding, staff shortages, improper training and incorrect information provided to patients, among other reasons.