How Chemotherapy Patients Can Prevent Dangerous Drug Errors

Chemotherapy isn’t optional; you need to receive chemotherapy to prevent the cancer from spreading. You need it to save your life.

However, chemotherapy involves dangerous drugs that—if given incorrectly—have the potential to kill. Accordingly, it is important to know what you can do to help prevent a doctor, nurse, or pharmacist from causing a chemo error that results in significant harm.

Nine Things That You Can Do

If you or a loved one is receiving chemotherapy, then it is important for you to:

  1. Learn about the type of cancer you have been diagnosed with and the necessary treatment.
  2. Write down the names of the drugs and dosage that you will be receiving, and have that list with you for every treatment.
  3. Understand how you will receive chemotherapy, or the route of administration.
  4. Know the color of the infusion, so that if it is ever different you can ask questions about it before receiving treatment.
  5. Know the planned treatment schedule.
  6. Confirm your medications before taking them.
  7. Keep a record every time you receive chemotherapy.
  8. Make sure that the nurse or doctor confirms your identity before giving you any chemotherapy.
  9. Discuss all of the potential side effects with your doctor.


While these steps may help reduce the likelihood of chemotherapy mistakes, it is important to remember that as the patient or someone who loves the patient, you may not be able to avoid every mistake.

That is the job of the medical professionals who are treating you, and if they make a neglectful mistake that results in your injury or the death of your loved one, then you may be entitled to a legal recovery. A legal recovery for a chemotherapy error could include compensation for past, current, and future medical expenses, lost income, out-of-pocket costs, pain, suffering, and other damages.

Together, let’s make sure that all patients receiving chemotherapy understand the risks and their rights. Please share this blog with anyone you know who is receiving cancer treatment so that more patients can take these important steps to prevent potential chemotherapy errors.

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