Monday, July 24, 2006

Stop! Don't take that pill

…Is HA looping? She has written about this before—medication errors.

…Bears repeating if you are into that survival thing.

…The Institute of Medicine back again like a faithful collie (“What, IOM, what?”) telling us that the average hospital patient is subject to one med error PER DAY in the hospital.

…By 2010, they think all ‘scripts should be written electronically. Trying to fix all these mistakes (meaning sicker or dead people) is costing $3.5 bill a year! A quarter of this is preventable (only a quarter?).

…A friend of HA’s went to a new pharmacy and her regular BP pills were a different color. Turns out it was a different generic…but she checked and you should, too!

…The IOM recommends asking the doctor to write down your medicine and how and when to take it and then match that to the bottle at the pharmacy. HA doesn’t know many docs who would jump at the chance.

…Do ask side effects. Many docs don’t go into these because they don’t want you to talk yourself into them.

…And while you are standing at the pharmacy counter, check the medicine! A friend of HA’s recently got her rescue asthma inhaler home and the pharmacist had substituted a medication she didn’t want. That can be bad when it’s for RESCUE, people.

…In the hospital ask what you are being given and why. If you are drowsy or very sick (hospital—what are the odds?), you may be out of luck.

…You do have the right to ask for someone to be present when you get a drug.

…The last time she was in the hospital, HA noticed they don’t ask allergies anymore and write them down. They just put a bracelet on that indicates you have them—and then ask before giving a drug.

…Again, what if you can’t answer?

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