With the slightest of errors – a typo, a dosage mistake – medicine can become poison.
According to the Institute of Medicine, at least 44,000 and up to as many as 98,000 people die each year due to preventable medical errors in hospitals. It’s the 6th largest cause of death in the United States. If you add injuries attributed to pharmaceutical errors, the numbers climb into the millions.
Scary isn’t it?
We place our well-being in the hands of healthcare providers and pharmacists and entrust them to administer medicine, carry out blood transfusions, perform surgery and monitor our health day after day without error. Yet, they are human too and humans make mistakes.
Medical error is often defined as the failure of a planned action to be completed as intended or the use of a wrong plan to achieve Some types of the most prevalent medical error cases are as follows:
- Improper transfusions
- Surgical injuries
- Wrong-site surgeries
- Retained surgical instruments (instrument left inside the patient)
- Restraint-related injury or death
- Pressure ulcers
- Mistaken patient identity
Pharmaceutical error occurs when a pharmacy mis-fills a prescription or when the wrong medication is dispensed by a caregiver. The consequences of drug-related mistakes for patients are dire. Toxicity, overdose, poisoning or death are the most serious effects, but even minor symptoms such as headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, are just as damaging over time.
Typical pharmaceutical errors include:
- A patient receiving another patient’s prescription
- Medicine labeled with your name on the bottle but the wrong medication inside
- Failure to identify drug interactions or allergies
- Confusion of drugs with similar names
- Wrong dosage provided to the patient in the bottle or in the written instructions
In the medical world, lives are at stake and even the smallest mistakes are deadly. You have a right to receive accurate medical care and to take your medicine without fear of harm.
Call Greene & Associates to learn about your legal rights if you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to medical error or pharmaceutical error. Put an end to your suffering. Greene & Associates can help you recover what you’ve lost.