British researcher Gerry Armitage of the National Patient Safety Agency conducted a study of 60,000 reported medication errors received between January 2005 and June 2006 by the National Reporting and Learning System. These errors ranged from prescribing problems, dispensing mistakes, and the preparation and administration of drugs, to monitoring or providing medical advice.
The data showed some frightening facts:
- 9% of inpatients experienced some form of drug-related harm.
- 80% of patients did not suffer long-lasting effects.
- 92 patients suffered severe harm or died as a result of the error.
Armitage believes that the key problem in correcting these errors is the reporting of “near misses”, or cases where a mistake was detected before causing harm. While these “close calls” are considered invaluable for learning in other industries, the NHS is surprisingly lax in reporting them.
In addition, many mistakes go unreported because staff members don’t realize that an error has occurred.
For example, “a nurse might assume that giving a drug late is not an error but it is. In actual fact, it could be an adverse event if the patient has Parkinson’s disease,” Armitage says. He added that a patient who is forced to wait three hours before being discharged because someone forgot a dose of his or her medication could also lead to an adverse event.
Our pharmacy error injury lawyersknow that suffering at the hands of a medical professional is a terrible kind of injury. Your life was put in someone else’s hands and they failed to protect you—and now they refuse to pay for the care that you desperately need.
If you or someone you love was injured by a hospital medication mistake, the board-certified dangerous drug attorneys at Kennedy Hodges can hold the parties responsible accountable for your suffering, getting you the compensation you need to heal. Call us today at 888-526-7616 for a free consultation.
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