Advances in the medical field can have life-changing results for patients. Unfortunately, though, sometimes those life-changing results are for the worse. Surgical errors can lead to disability and death, misdiagnoses or failures to diagnose can lead to worsened medical conditions and poor prognoses, and medication errors can lead to side-effects that are utterly devastating.
The latter type of medical error is often overlooked but is extraordinarily common. In fact, the FDA receives about 100,000 reports pertaining to suspected medication errors each year. There can be a number of reasons for a medication error, too, from a wrong entry in electronic medical records to misinterpreted handwritten prescriptions and medication name confusion. Improper doses can be catastrophic, if not fatal, and giving the wrong medication can allow a disease to run its course unchecked.
Most common medication errors today
Most, if not all, medication errors are preventable. The sad reality, though, is that these mistakes are going to continue to be made, and innocent victims are going to pay the price. To see just how big of an issue this is, there are some of the most common medication mistakes reported by one recent study:
- Improper administration of Oxytocin
- Improper prescription and administration of extended-release opioids to some patients
- Failing to provide a full dose of medication when utilizing tubing
- Using abbreviations, symbols, or dose designations when writing prescriptions or medication orders
- Improper intraspinal injections
These are just some of the most common errors, too. There are a whole host of other ways in which a medical professional can cause harm when prescribing or administering medication.
Hold errant doctors and their employers accountable
Doctors and hospitals need to be held accountable for the preventable harm they cause to their patients. If you’ve been harmed by what you suspect to be a medication error, then you might want to take the time to discuss your case with a legal professional who is adept at building medical malpractice claims and fighting for those who have suffered tragic and preventable harm.