Report Reveals 36 Serious Incidents of Harm from Medication Related Errors

Ontario hospitals recently released a new report detailing some 36 incidents that occurred last year where medication-related mistakes led to patients suffering severe harm or even death.

Among the reported incidents, patients were harmed when given incredible overdoses of narcotic painkillers, received the incorrect drug, or were administered an additional (and therefore dangerous) dose.

Of all of the incidents, ten patients died, while the remaining 26 suffered harm so severe that it required life saving interventions to correct, caused a major disability, or led to a shortened life span.

The report was a result of the Ontario government instituting a requirement that all hospitals report critical incidents, which include the most serious kinds of medical errors, related to prescription medications or intravenous fluids.

Common reasons for such mishaps occurred with problems programming IV pumps, frequent distractions, communication errors, and mix-ups of medications.

What these errors demonstrate is that no hospital, pharmacy, or even individual involved in these cases is free from committing the occasional error. In these cases, however, the errors are serious. As the numbers reflect, 36 peoples’ lives were forever changed for the worse as a result of these slip-ups.

In addition to the errors discussed above, which happened in a hospital setting, additional pharmaceutical errors can happen in circumstances such as:

  • When the wrong prescription medication is placed in the pill bottle
  • Filling the prescription with the correct type of medication, but at the incorrect dosage
  • Mislabeling the medicine with incorrect instructions
  • Providing the customer or patient with someone else’s medicine
  • If you have been harmed due to a pharmacy error or incorrect administration within a hospital setting, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and any other resulting complications. Potentially recoverable damages include things such as medical bills, related therapies, pain & suffering, and lost wages at work.

    The types of personal injury lawsuits that are brought in cases such as these may typically be brought under a negligence cause of action. This alleges that the pharmacist or other caregiver failed to act in accordance with the way a reasonable caregiver might. Sometimes these sorts of cases can additionally (or alternatively) give rise to medical malpractice cases, which have a similar standard, but focus on the standard to which medical professionals are held to.

    If you or a loved one has been injured or died as a result of a medication or pharmacy dispensing error, contact the experienced Maryland personal injury attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers. Our lawyers have extensive experience in advocating on behalf of individuals who have been harmed by medication errors, whether they were improperly prescribed, dispensed, or administered. Contact us today by calling us at (800) 654-1949 or through our website, in order to schedule your complimentary initial consultation.

    More Blog Posts:

    Study Examines Cause of Errors in Opioid Infusion Errors in Children, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, published August 8, 2013
    New Heparin Labels Intended to Reduce Fatal Overdoses, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, published July 25, 2013

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