It is natural to worry about a loved one’s safety when he is admitted to hospital. Unfortunately, your family member may be at more risk from his health care providers that from the affliction he was admitted for.
A recent study at the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy found that adverse drug events (ADEs) cause 750,000 injuries (including deaths) every year, costing approximately $5.6 million in extra procedures. Incidents include drug interactions, harmful side effects, dosage mistakes and other errors that could have been prevented by medical staff.
These events affect anywhere from two to seven patients per 100 admissions--and that is just an estimate taken from the hospitals that voluntarily submit medication error data. Of these, patients who experienced ADEs were hospitalized 8 to 12 days longer than other inpatients--and their costs of care increased by an additional $16,000 to $24,000.
However, the study showed some ways in which ADEs may be greatly reduced. Since the majority of errors occurred during the ordering and administration stages, some hospitals have invited pharmacists to be included in patient rounds. Using this tactic, Brigham and Women’s Hospital reduced the rate of ADEs in its intensive care unit from 33 per 1,000 patient days to about 11 per 1,000 patient days, simply by having a pharmacist accompany the ICU team on patient rounds.
If you need advice on your prescription drug error lawsuit, our board-certified drug injury attorneys can tell you what to expect in your case in your FREE consultation. Call us today at (888) 526-7616 or click the link on this page to get started.
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