After a recent health diagnosis, you may require emergency medical care. If so, do you know how to protect yourself against medication errors?
U.S. News & World Report offers insights into protecting yourself in the emergency room. Take steps to ensure you do not become a statistic.
Turn to medication professionals
If you take medication, have your pharmacist work alongside your emergency room physician to reduce your chances of experiencing a pharmaceutical error, especially if your primary doctor classifies you as a high-risk patient. The goal is to ensure emergency room staff has a history of your medications.
Keep a list of your current prescriptions
Do you take multiple medications? If so, always carry a list of your current prescriptions on you, ensuring you update it when you take a new dosage, change medications or stop taking a prescription. Do not forget to include supplements, vitamins and over-the-counter medication, as they may lead to harmful drug interactions. You should also note your drug allergies on the list. That way, if you arrive at the emergency room unresponsive, the hospital staff knows how to treat you safely.
Keep your physician’s and pharmacist’s contact information
Along with your medications and supplements, note your pharmacist’s and physician’s contact information. If emergency room staff need more details on your prescription or health, they know whom to call.
Have the hospital staff verify your identity
Before you receive medication in the emergency room, ensure the staff has the right patient. You may have the same or a similar name as another patient, or you may look like another emergency room patient.
Doctors and nurses receive extensive medical training, but they also make mistakes. Do what you can to protect yourself in the emergency room and all other health care settings.