You Might Not Know When a Medication Error Has Been Made

You might be surprised to learn that not all patients are made aware of medication mistakes. A recent study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine indicates that errors are rarely reported to caregivers and patients, particularly those that occur in the intensive care unit (ICU).

The good news is that most of these incidences didn’t result in harm; however, those that did often took place in the ICU compared to other units.

Data collected in the study showed that the most common type of mistake was failing to give medication to a patient (26 percent of mistakes in ICU vs. 28 percent of mistakes in non-ICU settings). But those that were more likely to cause harm to a patient were mistakes involving doses and medication used in devices such as IV lines.

Types of Medication Mistakes

A number of parties may be liable for an error involving prescription or administration of a medication. Pharmacies, hospitals and clinics can be the location of an error. Liability could lie with pharmacists, nurses, physicians and other medical professionals.

The following are some of the common types of mistakes involving medication:

  • improper compounding;
  • prescribing mishaps (transposing letters);
  • dispensing errors;
  • failure to monitor effects on patient;
  • administering drug incorrectly;
  • giving the wrong kind of medication; and
  • dosage is too high or too low.

Many mistakes involving medication are preventable. Carelessness, inattention and poor communication increase the likelihood of an error, for instance. Although not every patient experiences harm from a mistake with medication, those who do may pursue a claim to recover compensation for damages.

Contacting a Long Island Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Contact a lawyer at Gacovino, Lake & Associates at (800) 246-4878 to review your case. We will take the time to evaluate the details of the incident and determine if medical negligence was the cause of the medication mistake.

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