3 ways to prevent medication errors

- Take this in - every two minutes someone calls Poison Control because of a medication error. Every two minutes. It's a deadly problem that's getting worse.

Swallow this fact:  A new study reveals that over a 13-year period medication errors shot up 100 percent.  Not only that, the Center for Injury Research and Policy notes, these mistakes have resulted in serious outcomes.

Let's get right to the list of drugs that are a problem for us.

  1. Cardiovascular drugs
  2. Analgesics - acetaminophen followed by opioids
  3. Hormone meds like insulin.

Here's a scary number. The combo of cardiovascular drugs and painkillers accounts for TWO-THIRDS of the FATALITIES. Think about it.  How many of our older relatives are taking this combo?  The study's author says a big part of the problem has to do with manufacturing labeling and packaging.  So let the experts tell you what you do to get it right.

WRITE IT DOWN

"I have a been a caregiver four times. And it's so easy to get medications mixed up. Just write it down."

- Ginger Blackstone, caregiver

ASK QUESTIONS

"I'm doctor. And as your doctor, I want to make sure that everything that I think you should do you know you should do. So don't be shy. Speak up and ask us anything about your medications."

- Dr. Keren Landman, medical safety advocate

CHILD-RESISTANT PACKAGING

"I'm a mom. If I take the pills out of their container and put them in a pill planner, that pill planner also has to be child-resistant."

- Anna Kelly, mom, and nurse

Listen, at the pharmacy double check.  Read your label. I am allergic to a certain drug. I stop breathing. It's a very serious reaction. But I ask every single time if there is going to be a problem with my prescription. Even if I'm getting something that I know is OK I double check every time. You should, too.

Here's a spot of good news. Children six and under saw a decline in medication errors. The study says it's believed that fewer children this age take a cough and cold meds.

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