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The Laws on Medication Error and Pharmaceutical Malpractice

Aug28

The overwhelming majority of healthcare providers – a group that includes physicians, nurses, pharmacists and therapists, as well as managers of medical facilities – are extremely conscientious about providing the best quality care they can. But despite current technologies, most doctors still hand-write a prescription, while pharmacists and nurses fulfill and distribute those unclear prescriptions as best they can.

The problems can start with a physician’s handwriting, which might be difficult to read. When a fatigued nurse or pharmacist misreads the name of the medication, or doesn’t get the quantities right, the wrong medication or wrong dosage may be administered to a patient – something that can lead to a seriously adverse outcome.

This happens with disturbing frequency. The Journal of Nursing Care Quality reported a study that showed 10 to 18 percent of hospital injuries are due to medication errors, and that some hospitals improperly medicate an average of 1.9 patients per day. When that happens, a hospital stay will be extended by an average of more than four days, increasing costs by more than $4,600 per patient.

The vast majority of medication administration errors (about 95 percent) go unreported, but of those that are reported to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, five percent are fatal.

If you or a loved one is the victim of a medication error, contact a medical malpractice attorney. Your attorney will investigate the errors and fight for the fair compensation that you deserve.

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