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Prescription errors occur daily, study says

Emergency rooms and New York hospitals are quite frequently overloaded, leaving the doctors, nurses and other hospital personnel understaffed and overworked. The long shifts that are required, combined with the general rigors of the industry, can wear on individuals and cause them to make medical errors.

These mistakes can cause serious harm, permanent disability and even fatal injury to a patient. When this happens, the patient and their loved ones are left to wonder how such flagrant errors could pass by so many medical professionals and still remain undetected time and time again.

A report by the Consumers Union indicates that prescription errors are just as common nowadays as they were ten years ago. A decade old study by the Institute of Medicine produced alarming information that medication mistakes within hospitals ordinarily occur once per day. What is even more disturbing is the fact that these averages are attributed per patient, not for the entire hospital. According to the Consumers Union's findings, the errors are still as rampant today as they have always been. As such, patients are encouraged to be cognizant of the growing issue in an attempt to lessen incidences of error.

However, oftentimes individuals show up at a New York emergency room, clinic or other medical center in pain, seeking relief from what is plaguing them. In those difficult situations, some patients are not capable of properly watching out for medical errors. Instead, they must fully rely on medical professionals to appropriately act and follow through with the checks and balances put in place to reduce errors. In all cases, the medical professional is charged with the responsibility of keeping all patients safe.  When they fail to do so, they could be held liable for their negligence. 

Source: WUSA 9, "Is Your Medication Making You Sick?," Shirley Rooker, July 24, 2013

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