Report Highlights Increased Risk of Maryland Medication Errors Due to COVID

The COVID-19 pandemic has put added pressure and stress and healthcare professionals, especially as some hospitals have seen an influx of hospitalizations due to COVID-19, including the increased risk for medication errors for Maryland patients. A recent report from the Institute for Safe Medication Practices highlights the issue of medication errors related to the pandemic. There has been at least one lethal drug error in a hospital that struggled to cope with a surge in coronavirus cases. According to the report, a nurse who worked at the hospital where the death occurred worked in a busy intensive care unit that was treating about 20 COVID-19 patients each day. The nurse reported that they were overwhelmed with patients and under-resourced, and had stashes of medication left in patients’ closets and drawers. One researcher said a “rushed and hectic environment” can lead to a relaxation of safety measures and double-checks to avoid errors.

The report highlighted the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, which established a process to review workflow changes and patient safety events at the beginning of the pandemic in order to minimize potential medication errors. The Center made it standard practice to use a single concentration for high-alert medication whenever it was possible. On the other hand, the University of Maryland decided to eliminate a previous requirement that two nurses had to sign off on the administration of all medications. It now allows nurses to administer non-high alert medication without having witnesses present. The Institute provided several suggestions for avoiding prescription errors during the COVID-19 pandemic, including establishing a process for carrying out independent double checks before certain critical infusions are administered and affixing bold auxiliary labels to critical care infusions when dispensing a nonstandard concentration or a neuromuscular blocking agent.

Are Maryland Medication Error Victims Entitled to Compensation?

Victims of medication errors may be entitled to financial compensation for their medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages. In a negligence claim in a Maryland medication error case, a patient would have to show that a healthcare professional failed to meet the relevant standard of care by providing the patient with the wrong drug or dosage. A victim would have to show that it was more probable than not that the injury the plaintiff suffered as a result was caused by the healthcare professional’s negligent act. Due to the nature of these claims, medication error cases generally require expert testimony explaining how the healthcare professional acted negligently and how the professional’s negligent act caused the plaintiff’s injuries.

Contact a Maryland Pharmacy Error Lawyer

Victims of Maryland medication errors may be entitled to compensation for their injuries. The law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, represents victims of medication errors and other wrongful conduct throughout Maryland, Virginia and the Washington, D.C. area. Our attorneys work closely with medical experts to evaluate clients’ claims and fight for the compensation that they deserve. We have over twenty years of experience litigating claims related to medication errors and understand what it takes to build a successful case. Call 1-800-654-1949 or fill out our online form to set up a free consultation today.

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