Boohoff Law P.A. Articles Medication Errors Can Lead to Severe Reactions

Medication Errors Can Lead to Severe Reactions

By Boohoff Law P.A.  May. 25, 2011 1:23p

Medication errors have a wide range of possibilities and can happen at any point on the transmission chain. Medication errors can include a doctor prescribing the wrong drug, or the incorrect dosage; they can involve a nurse administering the incorrect dosage at the hospital, or a pharmacist pulling the wrong drug with a similar name off the shelf. A pharmacist can misread a doctor's handwriting and give the patient the wrong drug, or a physician can fail to take a complete history of a patient's allergies, or a physician can fail to learn what other medications the patient is currently taking. All the above can create unnecessary, adverse reactions for the patient. If you have suffered from an adverse reaction due to a medication error, contact a Brandon personal injury attorney right away.

Of all medical malpractice suits, medication errors are one of the most common types of error, and are a primary concern for practitioners who prescribe medication, nurses who administer them and pharmacists who dispense them. Medication errors are responsible for nearly 100,000 deaths each year, and approximately 1.5 million injuries. It is estimated that medication errors cost our health care system in excess of $29 billion each year; however medication errors are greatly underreported. Many victims of medication errors are never informed by doctors, nurses and hospital staff. Medication errors can have grave effects on hospital patients, extending their hospital stay for an average of 8-12 days. Not only is this a serious problem for patient's health, but it costs the patient and insurers thousands of dollars above and beyond what their treatment should have cost.

Leading Causes of Medication Errors

Medical doctors, hospital staff and pharmacists are not out to get us. So, how do so many medication errors happen each year? According to U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP), the main contributing factors to medication errors included distractions, workload increases, and staffing problems such as insufficient staffing, inexperienced staff or temporary staffing. The most common medications often associated with errors were Insulin, Heparin, Warfarin, and Albuterol. The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (2007) received numerous reports of mix-ups between Insulin and Heparin. There were two reported cases where Insulin was added to infant TPN solutions, which resulted in death. Unfortunately, the majority of these incidents were commonly associated with "mental slip-ups" because the packages were similar and both came in 10ml vials.

If you or someone you love has been injured due to a medication error or, suffered from a wrongful death, contact a Brandon medication error lawyer from Boohoff Law

Contact a Brandon medication error attorney from our firm for a free initial consultation.

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