Medication Errors in Healthcare Institutions

Medication errors are preventable events resulting in life-threatening medical situations, congenital deformities, permanent disabilities, and even death for unsuspecting patients. These errors are a threat to patient safety that can lead to devastating patient outcomes. Medication errors are acts of medical negligence that can occur through improper prescribing, transcribing, dispensing, administering, or monitoring of patients. It is a severe public health problem, causing widespread effects on patients and their loved ones.

Medication errors can result in lengthy and complicated hospitalizations and are a financial burden on the insurance and healthcare system. There are many reasons why medication errors occur. It can happen through human error or systemic issues in healthcare institutions. Error reporting and disclosure proves to be a challenge, as health care providers do not want to be implicated in error events.

The Food and Drug Administration investigates more than 100,000 reports of medication errors in the United States each year, despite their programs to minimize medical malpractice. Their preventative measures include monitoring drug manufacturing, such as researching drug names, packaging, and product design. In healthcare institutions, the Food and Drug Administration investigates adverse events through mandated reporting.

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices reported that adverse events in Healthcare Institutions in 2019 were caused by: 

  • Selecting the wrong medication on a technology screen
  • Daily instead of weekly administration of doses
  • Similar labeling of products
  • Communication errors due to verbal or telephone orders
  • Unsafe practices with intravenous push medications
  • Unsafe over-rides with automated dispensing cabinets
  • Unclear labeling of pre-filled syringes and infusions
  • Incorrect dosages, especially in pediatric patients

Other causes of adverse drug events are patient admissions to Emergency Rooms without an accurate medication list, poorly coordinated patient care, healthcare professionals’ workload, severe drug interactions, and patient’s allergic reactions.

 When a patient’s well-being is at risk because of a medication error, they have the right to seek a medical malpractice attorney for compensation.

Many parties may be found liable for medical negligence in a medication error lawsuit, such as healthcare professionals, healthcare institutions, and pharmaceutical or drug manufacturing companies. In a medical malpractice claim, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant was negligent in their duty to provide reasonable care. Examples of medical errors involving medication include administering an incorrect medication or dosage, failure to prescribe or administer a needed mediation, and failure to consider allergies or drug interactions.

The plaintiff in a medical malpractice claim must prove the following:

  • A duty of care is defined as a legal obligation imposed on health care professionals that requires adherence to a standard of reasonable care.
  • The duty is breached as the health care professional failed to perform services reflecting the accepted standard of care.
  • Evidence is provided to correlate a causal relationship between the defendant’s conduct and the patient’s resulting harm.
  • There is evidence of economic or non-economic damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, or wrongful death.

Contact the Badgley Law Group for a Free, Initial Evaluation of your Claim.

Medication errors happen much more than they should. Patients may suffer significant harm, even loss of life from their injuries. Badgley Law Group offers superior services, representing individuals and families in personal injury and medical malpractice claims. We believe our clients deserve skilled representation. We work diligently to fight for the most favorable outcome. Attorney Jeff Badgley is passionate about justice. He has achieved recognition as a Board-Certified Civil Trial Lawyer, which is the Florida Bar’s highest honor.

As a specialist in trial law, Attorney Jeff Badgley and his legal team will fight for compensation for victims of medical malpractice and medication errors in healthcare institutions. Contact our Orlando, Florida office at 407-781-0420.

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