Medical Journal Recommends Physicians and Pharmacists Convert Completely to the Metric System to Avoid Medication Errors

Medication errors are a serious problem in today’s health care world. In fact, it is estimated that there are over 65,000 medication errors that occur across the United States each year, many with disastrous consequences. According to one article published by Modern Healthcare, some are suggesting that the industry shift over to the metric system to decrease the chance of a medication error.

The argument suggests that requiring doctors and pharmacists to document a patient’s weight in pounds is counterproductive and dangerous, given the fact that most medications are dosed according to the kilogram-weight of the patient. In other words, the prescribing physician or filling pharmacist must make the calculations to change a patient’s weight from pounds into kilograms.

While this doesn’t sound all that difficult, in the hustle-and-bustle environment that many doctors and pharmacists find themselves in on a daily basis, anything that can decrease the chance of an error should be considered.

Medication Errors and Incorrect Dosing

Of the roughly 65,000 medication errors that occur each year, it is estimated that approximately 20% are the result of incorrect dosages. Another 8% are caused by using the improper unit of measurement when dosing the medication. It is suggested by some that both of these categories would drop if the metric system were the sole system used to weigh patients and dose medication.

Regardless of whether switching measurement systems would solve or ameliorate the problem, pharmacists and doctors are held to a high duty to ensure that they are considering new research and utilizing new safety protocols. When a pharmacist lapses in their responsibilities or judgments, they may be held liable for damages that are caused as a result.

A Pharmacist’s Responsibility

It is a pharmacist’s responsibility to accurately fill a client’s prescription, no matter how busy or behind schedule they are. However, the reality of the situation is that when things get hectic, humans can make errors. In the case of pharmacy errors, these errors can be fatal.

If a pharmacist has provided a patient with a dangerous dose of a drug, and the patient is injured as a result, that patient may be able to hold the pharmacist (as well as the pharmacy) accountable for his or her injuries. To learn more, contact a dedicated Maryland pharmacy error attorney.

Have You Been Injured by a Pharmacist’s Negligence?

If you or a loved one has recently been the victim of a negligent pharmacist, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. However, keep in mind that before you will be able to recover, you will need to convince a judge or jury of the merit of your case. Therefore, discussing your case with an experienced attorney is certainly advised. To speak with one of our attorneys who routinely deals with pharmacy error cases, call 410-654-3600 today to set up a free consultation.

More Blog Posts:

Woman Hospitalized for “Poisoning” After Pharmacist’s Error, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, February 23, 2015.

California Costco Pharmacy Mis-Fills One Patient’s Prescription Twice in One Year, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, January 22, 2015.

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