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Be careful about medications in the hospital

Most people turn to doctors and nurses when they aren't feeling well. If you seek care at a hospital and are admitted, you can't just sit back and blindly take the medications that you are given. It is possible that the nurses who administer medications in the hospital will make errors that could cost you your life.

When you are given medications in the hospital, you should ask what you are being given. If you haven't ever taken the medication, ask why you are being given that particular medication. Your questions might mean the difference between you living to see another day and your family getting a phone call they dread.

It is important for the medical team treating you at the hospital to have information about all medications you are taking. Make sure you tell them about over-the-counter medicines, prescription medications and natural remedies you are taking. This is one step that can help to prevent harmful interactions with the medications you are given during your hospital stay.

Receiving medications in a hospital is a multi-step process. The doctor prescribes the drugs and puts a note in your chart. A pharmacy usually has to fill the prescription. A nurse has to verify and prepare the medication when it is sent, and then the nurse will administer the medication to you. At each step, there is a chance that something will go wrong.

If you are harmed by a medication error, you might need more extensive medical care than what you were prepared for. This can mean that you are in the hospital longer and that you have higher medical bills. You might decide to seek compensation for the error, so make sure you know how to do so if you decide on that course of action.

Source: American Nurse Today, "Medication errors: Don’t let them happen to you," Pamela Anderson, MS, RN, APN-BC, CCRN, accessed Sep. 02, 2016

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