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Don't Be the Victim of a Medication Error—Read These Tips!

Did you know that:

According to the Institute of Medicine, over 7,000 deaths each year are related to medication errors.1

Tip 1
Find out what drug you are taking and what it is for. If you, a friend or family member are in the hospital, ask what drugs are being given and why.

Tip 2
Know your medication – what it looks like, its name, and the proper dosage. Be on the lookout if your medication looks different than normal. When in doubt ask, ask, ask.

Tip 3
Help children and older family members with their medication. Almost half of the fatal medication errors occur in people over 60. Children are vulnerable because drugs are often based on weight – accurate calculations are critical.

Tip 4
Store medications safely – away from the reach of children. If the medication needs to be refrigerated, be sure to keep it secure in the refrigerator. If stored with other medication, be sure to read the label and identify the medication before each use.

The Institute of Medicine is a division of the National Academy of Science. It is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing unbiased, evidence-based advice on matters pertaining to health and science. See report dated July 20, 2006 at www.iom.edu.


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