Freedman Law Group Articles Medication Errors and Their Devastating Effects

Medication Errors and Their Devastating Effects

By Law Offices of Freedman & Freedman  Oct. 15, 2010 9:30a

Each year, approximately 1.5 million people are sickened or injured as a result of a medication error and 100,000 of those people die. Hospitals spend roughly 3.5 billion each year on additional injuries incurred as a result of medication errors. According to an FDA study evaluating reports of fatal medication errors from 1993 to 1998, 41% of the errors were due to improper medication dosages, giving the wrong drug accounted for 16% of the errors and over half of the fatalities were in individuals over 60. Given the fact the elderly are often times on multiple medications at once puts them at a higher risk than the rest of the population. The numbers are staggering, and what is worse, medication errors are entirely preventable.

Who's to Blame?

Medication errors are vastly underreported, as people are often afraid to take the blame. Medication errors can happen anywhere in the medication transmission system, from the doctor or nurse to the people at the pharmacy. Common medication errors are:

  • Confusion because of similar drug names
  • Illegible doctor's handwriting resulting in wrong medication or dosage
  • Pharmacist making an error pulling the drug off the shelf
  • Failure to learn about medical allergies
  • Adverse drug interactions
  • Failure to recognize adverse side effects
  • Improper dosing

At What Cost?

Medication errors are very expensive. Each year they cost innocent lives and billions of dollars to our health care system. Studies show that 400,000 preventable injuries occur annually in our hospitals as a result of medication errors. 800,000 injuries occur in our long-term care facilities. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or even death due to a medication error in the Detroit or surrounding areas, a Michigan medication error attorney at the Law Offices of Freedman & Freedman can help.

Medication errors are not to be taken lightly and every patient deserves quality care from each health care professional in the medication dispensing chain. You have rights and we can help maximize the chances of getting the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering as a result of a medication error. As a bonus, we take all of our cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we don't get paid unless you get compensation for your losses!

Contact a Michigan Medication Error Attorney at our office today for a free case evaluation.

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