New Study Shows Post-Op Medication Errors More Common than Previously Thought

Earlier last month, a new study was released that claims post-operation medication errors can occur in as many as one in every two patients. According to one local news source that covered the new study, the study was performed at Massachusetts General Hospital and looked at roughly 275 surgeries.

The results came back indicating that in the post-operation setting some kind of human error or “adverse event” occurred in about 50% of all patients. Prescriptions that were filled in the hospital showed an error rate of about 5%. Most of the prescription errors fell into several categories:  incorrect dosing, drug documentation problems, drug labeling mistakes, and improperly documenting patients’ vital signs. Researchers believe that about 80% of the errors they found could be classified as “preventable,” had appropriate measures been taken.

The researchers found that about 5% of those patients who were provided a wrong medication or dose had “negative effects” from the administration of the drug. Two-thirds of the errors were considered “serious,”and 2% of the errors were classified as “life threatening.”

Researchers noted that Massachusetts General Hospital is at the forefront of patient safety and has implemented new procedures in the operating rooms and in the hospital pharmacies to prevent these kinds of problems. Therefore, the rates in other hospitals, according to the researchers’ logic, may be even higher than those in the study.

Medication Errors in Pharmacies

It is hard to believe the frequency with which pharmacists make serious errors that can profoundly affect the lives of their patients. Whether it is a lack of training, lack of staffing, or pharmacist distraction, there is no excuse for these kinds of errors, and pharmacists as well as the pharmacy that employs them may be held liable when a patient is injured as a result of a preventable medication error.

Recovering in a Prescription Error Case

In order to prove a case against a negligent pharmacy or pharmacist, the victim of the error must be able to link their injuries to the negligent act of the pharmacist. This can be done in a number of ways, but it will often require the testimony of an expert witness to explain to the judge or jury why the defendant’s error was the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. To learn more about this kind of case, contact an experienced Maryland pharmacy error attorney today.

Have You Been the Victim of a Prescription Error?

If you or a loved one has recently been provided the wrong medication, wrong dose, or wrong instructions along with your medication, you may be eligible for financial compensation. These cases are not always cut-and-dry, and a strong case should be prepared prior to proceeding to trial, since the defendants will likely contest your allegations and attempt to get the case dismissed at any opportunity. Contact an experienced Maryland pharmacy error attorney today at 410-654-3600 to set up a free consultation. Calling is free, and you will not incur any obligation unless we are able to recover for you in your case.

More Blog Posts:

New Study Looks at Error Rates in Hospital Pharmacies, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, September 22, 2015.

Pharmacist Mistakenly Provides Chemotherapy Drug to Elderly Patient and Then Tries To Cover Up His Mistake, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, October 7, 2015.

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