Medication errors are among the most common medical errors, harming over 1 million people every year. Medication errors can kill or permanently injure patients. Those patients and their families are entitled to recover from the negligent hospital, doctor, nurses or other health care providers and their insurance companies.
When a doctor treats a patient with a medication, he or she has to specify what medicine the patient should receive, how much and when it is to be given. Errors can be made in any of those steps: the wrong medicine might be given, or the wrong amount, or the medicine may be given at the wrong time.
According to the National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention, a medication error is “any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the medication is in the control of the health care professional, patient, or consumer.”
In 1999, the Institute of Medicine released a report, “To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System.” That report stated that between 44,000 and 98,000 deaths may result each year from medical errors in hospitals alone. And more than 7,000 deaths each year are related to medications.
From 1993 to 1998, the Food and Drug Administration studied reports of deadly medication errors. It found that the most common medication error was giving an improper dose (the wrong amount) of the prescribed medicine. This type of error caused 41 percent of the fatal medication errors during this time period. Giving the wrong drug and using the wrong route of administration each accounted for 16 percent of the errors. Almost half of the deadly medication errors were in patients over age 60. But patients of all ages can be victims of medication mistakes.
At Martin & Jones, our experienced medical malpractice lawyers are dedicated to helping clients who have been injured by negligent physicians and medical staff. We have a strong track record of obtaining results on behalf of injured clients. Talk to one of our attorneys about your negligence claim. Call 919-821-0005 or toll free at 800-662-1234, or email us using our online contact form.