Are Maryland Patients at Greater Risk for Medical Errors on Weekends?

Medical errors can occur at any time—but a recent study raises the issue of whether patients in Maryland are at greater risk for Maryland medical errors on weekends than during the week. The study looked at all medication errors reported by healthcare practitioners over a two-year period at one hospital. There were 2,626 medical errors reported during the two-year period that that hospital alone. The most common sub-category of medical errors was prescribing errors, which amounted to 55% of all medical errors.

The study found statistically significant differences between many sub-categories of medical errors in day shifts and night shifts during weekdays and weekends. The medical errors were higher during the weekdays than during the weekends. But during the weekends, medical errors during the night shifts were more common than during the day shifts. The highest percentage of prescribing errors occurred on weekdays during night shifts (amounting to 77% and 79% of all errors). The study noted that other studies had found higher rates of medical errors during night shifts.

The study’s findings demonstrate that timing is an important factor in improving the use of medication and enhancing patient safety. The study reiterated that medication errors “are a serious public health problem that threatens patient safety and imposes substantial costs.” Medication errors are defined by the U.S. National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Preventing as “any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the medication is in the control of the health care professional, patient, or consumer.”

Can Patients Sue a Pharmacy After a Medication Error?

Yes, in the event that a patient suffers from a Maryland medical error, the patient (or someone on their behalf) may be able to file a claim to recover financial compensation. Those who may be at fault may include the healthcare professional who prescribed the medication, transmitted the prescription, filled the prescription, administered the medication, manufactured the medication, performed a procedure, and the entities that employed or supervised those individuals. An injured patient must show that the person or entity at fault acted or failed to act in some way, that the error failed to meet the standard of care owed to the patient, and the error caused the plaintiff’s injuries. In general, a Maryland injury claim must be filed within three years of the date of the injury, although there are some exceptions. Patients who file successful medical error claims may be able to recover financial compensation for damages such as past and future medical expenses, lost wages, physical therapy bills, and mental suffering.

Baltimore Attorneys Representing Medication Error Victims

Patients who have suffered from Maryland medication errors should consult with an experienced Maryland medication error attorney as soon as possible. The Maryland attorneys at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC have spent more than twenty years litigating claims related to personal injury in the Baltimore area and beyond. Their attorneys can guide you through each step of the legal process, ranging from the initial investigation of a case through settlement negotiations and any litigation that becomes necessary. Contact them online by completing their online form or call them toll-free at (800) 654-1949 to set up a free, no-obligation consultation.

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