Negligent Medication Errors Can Cause Serious Injury and Death
An article published in 2014 by the Mayo Clinic reported that approximately 7,000 to 9,000 people die each year in the United States due to medication errors. Additionally, the article reports that hundreds of thousands of other patients experience adverse reactions or other complications related medications. This staggering number of patient injuries and deaths can be decreased by pharmacies and hospitals implementing and following appropriate protocols and procedures to ensure that the correct medications are given to patients.
Types of Medication Errors
Medication errors can occur in a variety of different ways including the following:
- Improper prescriptions written by doctors
- Wrong medications given by the pharmacy
- Incorrect medication dosages
- Medications being given at the wrong time
- Incorrect medications administered during medical procedures or surgery
- Failure to confirm correct patient identities prior to administration
Ways to Decrease Medication Errors
Pharmacies can prevent medication errors due to sound-a-like names by confirming that an orally transmitted order is the correct medication. Further, pharmacies should confirm correct orders when a handwritten order is not legible. In addition, barcode technology can assist in determining whether co-prescribed medications are contraindicated.
During medical procedures, a "time-out" prior to administration of a medication is common practice among many healthcare providers. During a "time-out", a patient's identifying information is confirmed, the medication name may be put on a white board, and a nurse will show the medication bottle to the doctor to ensure the correct medication is given. Confirming that "time-outs" are appropriately performed during medical procedures can assist in decreasing the number of incorrect medications given.
Orange County Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Medical Malpractice attorneys at the Law Offices of Scott D. Hughes have experience helping clients fight for compensation for injuries resulting from medication errors by doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies. Attorneys at the Law Offices of Scott D. Hughes are experienced and professional litigators. Frequently, medical malpractice cases are settled prior to a trial. In settlements, negotiating skills are a major factor. The medical malpractice attorneys at the Law Offices of Scott D. Hughes are skilled and seasoned negotiators and will fight to increase the chances of maximizing the potential compensation in your case.
If you would like to speak with attorneys at the Law Offices of Scott D. Hughes about your case, contact our offices for a free consultation. Each case is unique and they would like to get the details so that they may assist you in planning a legal strategy. Contact an Orange County medical malpractice attorney from the Law Offices of Scott D. Hughes for your free consultation today.