Many people throughout the United States rely on medication in order to remain healthy. Some of this medication helps treat existing illnesses, while other medication helps prevent them. No matter why a person takes medication, the person should rest assured that the medication will not harm them. People rely on the judgment of medical professionals to ensure that these medications are safe. However, if medication is not carefully administered, it can harm the person taking it.
Indeed, many individuals suffer from adverse drug events. These are situations where people suffer because of some reaction to the drug. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are more than 120,000 hospitalizations each year due to adverse drug events. Additionally, there are more than 700,000 emergency room visits because of the effects of medication.
These adverse drug events aren't only dangerous; they are also expensive. The CDC reports that an additional $3.5 billion is spent each year because of adverse drug events. Many of these events could be prevented with proper care. The CDC says that up to 40 percent of these events could be prevented in non-hospital settings.
Adverse drug events are likely to increase in the recent future. The CDC asserts that because of America's aging population, more individuals will be taking medication. Currently, 82 percent of American adults take at least one medication. As this number grows, there is a greater risk for mistakes. Also, an increase in prescription coverage could lead to greater instances of these dangerous medical errors.
When medication errors are caused by a negligent doctor, the individuals who have suffered harm may have legal rights. These rights can include the right to compensation in a medical malpractice lawsuit. While this blog post cannot give specific legal advice, an attorney can help those who have been injured by medication.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Medication safety basics," accessed on March 24, 2016