What Can You Do About the Serious Adverse Effects of Medication Errors?

Medication errors are a common form of medical malpractice. If you believe you or a loved one has experienced serious adverse effects from a medication error, consult with a medical malpractice attorney to find out about your rights to recover compensation.

What are medication errors?

Medication errors can occur at any time when a clinician prescribes a medication and the patient actually receives the medication. The error can be a mistake of commission or omission. Medication errors that reach the patient and cause any degree of harm are preventable errors.

Sometimes a person intercepts the error before it reaches a patient. An example is a pharmacist who notices the error and calls the practitioner to correct it before filling the prescription.

How greatly at risk are patients for medication errors?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), risk is considerable:

  • Medication errors cause at least one death every day in the U.S.
  • Approximately 1.3 million people suffer annually from medication errors in the United States
  • Everyone around the world at some point in life will take medicine to prevent or treat illness

What can lead to medication errors?

Any number of factors can lead to medication errors, including:

  • Incorrect dosage
  • Failure to respond quickly to an under dose or overdose
  • Health worker fatigue
  • Overcrowding
  • Staff shortages
  • Poor training
  • Wrong information given to patients
  • Poorly organized care
  • Failure to check for a history of allergic reactions

Statistics of Adverse Drug Events

According to the Patient Safety Network, adverse drug events (ADEs) are the most common preventable occurrences in all types of medical settings. Statistics reveal:

  • Nearly 33% of adults in the United States take five or more medications
  • ADEs result in nearly 700,000 emergency department visits annually
  • ADEs result in an estimated 100,000 hospitalizations
  • Close to 5% of patients in a hospital experience an adverse drug event

If you suspect that a medication error resulted in serious harm or death of a family member, you can find out about your legal rights from an experienced attorney. At Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP https://sacksteinlaw.com, we offer a free initial consultation to discuss concerns about medical malpractice.