Having to visit a medical center can be nerve-wracking because there may be a lot of unknowns, including what kind of quality of care you will be provided. Whether a hospital has had multiple pharmacy errors or other dangerous incidents at the hospital can be particularly important for patients and potential future patients to know.
According to a recent news article, a medical center in California faced the risk of losing its Medicare funding after state inspectors uncovered multiple dangerous incidents regarding proper drug distribution. In one incident, an 88-year-old woman was hospitalized for chest pain, and instead of receiving medication for her symptoms, she was mistakenly given two doses of a chemotherapy drug used to treat breast cancer, a condition that family members say she didn’t have. According to the patient’s daughter, a nurse dismissed the daughter’s concern that after being admitted to the medical center, at one point, she could not understand her mother over the phone and thus told the nurse that it sounded as if her mother had suffered from a stroke. Because of this growing concern, the patient’s daughter called the nurse the next day and requested the list of medications that had been prescribed for her mother. The woman died less than a month after being admitted to the medical center. In a confidential report, the state’s public health inspectors stated that the medication error “could potentially cause harm or serious adverse drug reactions to the hospital’s patients.”
In addition, in another incident at the same hospital, a patient with dementia and a history of falls attempted to walk unassisted in his room and tripped over a device. As a result, the patient suffered a fractured hip and was found on the floor by a nurse. According to the article, an alarm designed to prevent such falls by alerting staff when a patient leaves a bed had not been turned on. Doctors decided not to repair the patient’s help because of their belief that the surgery was unlikely to improve his quality of life, and that patient was placed on comfort care and died 7 days after the accident.
What Are Hospital Safety Grades?
According to the recent news article, the California medical center mentioned above faced the threat of losing Medicare accreditation, but this was lifted within days after inspectors validated the hospital’s corrective action plan through staff interviews and record reviews. Although the medical center no longer faces this threat, the medical center received a “C” from Leapfrog Group in its most recent Hospital Safety Grades ranking. Leapfrog Group is a Washington, D.C., organization that grades hospitals on patient safety. Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades are assigned to nearly 3,000 general acute-care hospitals across the nation twice annually. The ratings focus on accidents, injuries, and infections. In addition, the ratings help assess how well a particular facility prevents medical errors and harm to patients. Although you should never refuse care in an emergency situation because of a hospital’s Safety Grade, having such knowledge about the grades of local hospitals can be particularly helpful when planning various medical visits or procedures.
Connect with a DC, Maryland, or Virginia Pharmacy Error Attorney
If you or someone you love has been harmed or suspects that they have been harmed by a pharmacy error and/or a failure of a hospital, you may be entitled to compensation for losses. Connect with an experienced and compassionate D.C. pharmacy error attorney from Lebowitz & Mzhen to discuss your case today. Our attorneys have years of experience representing clients in many medical malpractice cases, including pharmacy error claims. Call us today at 800-654-1949 to schedule a free consultation and discuss your case.