Medication Errors Are More Common Than You Think
We entrust our health and well-being to medical professionals every time we seek their advice, whether during an annual physical, a visit for a specific ailment and diagnosis, or for prescription medication. Our reliance on their expertise is grounded in the belief that they will not do us harm, but rather make us better. Unfortunately, this belief is often contradicted by terrible mistakes that can cause harmful, sometimes fatal, consequences.
What is a Medication Error?
A medication error does not only happen when you go to the pharmacy and receive the wrong prescription. In fact, medication errors cover a wide range of circumstances, such as:
• Doctor prescribes the wrong medication.
• Doctor prescribes the wrong dosage.
• Doctor mixes up two similarly named medications.
• Pharmacist dispenses the wrong medication.
• Error in medical records leads to a patient receiving a prescription intended for someone else.
• Patient does not understand instructions for taking the medication.
These are just some of the most common medication errors that occur.
How Often do these Errors Occur?
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 82% of American adults take at least one medication and 29% take five or more. They also estimate that there are 700,000 emergency department visits and 120,000 hospitalizations annually as a result of adverse drug events, which includes more than medication errors. Another study cited by Forbes stated that there are at least one million medication errors that occur annually, of which 7,000 result in death.
Another study done by the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health, found that medication errors were more likely to occur for those taking multiple medications, particularly individuals over the age of 75, suffering from chronic diseases.
At Fieger Law, our Southfield medication error lawyers have handled hundreds of cases where patients have been betrayed by healthcare professionals they trusted. Healthcare professionals have an obligation to their patients to ensure that they receive the proper drug and dosage for their condition and, when they fail to do so, you have a right to hold them accountable.
Call us at 1-800-294-6637 for a free case evaluation.