Currently, doctors have a list of more than 10,000 medications in their supply of treatment options. Even though medical advancements have meant better treatment for people in the United States, there is a higher risk of adverse drug events, also known as ADEs. The Patient Safety Network estimates that ADEs account for about 700,000 emergency room visits annually.
Types of medication errors
There are many different types of medication errors. Here are some of the more common ones:
- Prescribing errors, such as wrong dose, form, quantity or concentration
- Failing to give a dose of medication
- Wrong time errors with medication given outside the correct schedule
- Improper dosing errors
- Wrong drugs given
- Improper administration errors, like when the medication should have been administered through the IV, but was given orally
Looking at this list, it is only natural to question why these errors even happen in the first place. The truth is that just like there are a variety of errors, there are also a number of causes. For example, nurses who administer medication get distracted. Pharmacists cannot read a doctor’s handwriting. Doctors get the names of medications mixed up or fail to review a patient’s medical history. Sometimes, the incorrect amount is written down, or a decimal in the dose is overlooked.
Do you have a medical malpractice case?
Whether your medication error was negligent depends on different factors and a medication error does not always mean malpractice. Basically, the person suing the healthcare provider has to show the provision of care fell below the accepted medical standard. It also has to be shown that the mistake caused measurable harm to the plaintiff.
Determining medical malpractice is not easy. Having an attorney to assess and possibly build your case can help you decide how to move forward.