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When medication errors happen, patients often pay the price

On Behalf of | Apr 7, 2018 | Failure to Diagnose |

Medication is a critical component of health for many people in the Queens area. They implicitly trust their doctors to prescribe the right drugs to help them manage their conditions and save their lives. Unfortunately, as beneficial as prescription drugs can be, there is also a dark side to consider. According to American Nurse Today, every year, “more than 7,000 fatalities occur from medication errors, leading to longer hospital stays and more medical expenses for patients. 

Adverse drug events (ADEs) lead to “more than 280,000 hospital admissions and 1,000,000 emergency room visits, annually”, states the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Common medication errors that occur in the care delivery system include: 

  •        Mixing up patients
  •        Labeling errors
  •        Not providing sufficient warnings to patients
  •        Administration of wrong drug and dosage
  •        Not researching potential harmful interactions, especially with multiple medications 

Human error is the primary cause of medication mistakes, making them highly preventable. Health care workers must rely on communication amongst themselves and their patients to ensure proper medication dictation, procurement and administration standards are consistently met. However, because so many doctors and nurses are overworked and stressed, they are prone to make mistakes that put patient health at risk. 

Drug errors can happen anywhere in the care delivery process. Doctors, nurses, pharmacists and any health care role that involves prescribing, procuring and administering drugs to patients can be held liable for any adverse reactions and events that result in patient harm and death. In severe and widespread situations, drug manufacturers and suppliers could find themselves accountable too.

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