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Types of Errors

Dangerous and Defective Drugs If you put your trust in a pharmaceutical company and were hurt by their product, you deserve compensation for your suffering.
Wrong Medication Did you receive the wrong medication or incorrect prescription from a pharmacy? If you have suffered because of a medication error please call us for a free case review.
Wrong Dosage Common forms of medication error: incorrect dosage error. Order our free book to learn how to protect yourself and your family from wrong dosage errors.
Other Errors Order our free book, "How to Make Pharmacies Pay for your Injuries Caused by Medication Errors, to learn your rights in prescription error cases.
Kids Rx Errors Order a free copy of The Top 10 Tips to Protect Your Children Against Pharmacy Errors. If you have suffered a prescription error contact our firm today.
Pharmacy Malpractice If you have suffered an injury because a pharmacy dispensed the wrong medication or made an error with your prescription, you are able to file a claim for negligence or malpractice and receive the compensation you deserve.
Walgreens Pharmacy Error Claims There have been numerous claims brought against Walgreens for pharmacy errors or prescription errors. Order our free book to learn how to take action.
CVS Pharmacy Error Claims If you've been injured because of a CVS Pharmacy prescription error, call us for help with your lawsuit at 888-526-7616.
State Pharmacy Boards If you have been severely injured because of a medication error, contact board-certified attorneys immediately to investigate your case free of charge.
Drug & Pharmacy Error Prevention Filing a pharmacy error lawsuit is the only way to make pharmacies take accountability for mistakes. Call our board certified attorneys for a free case review.
State Pharmacy Laws State laws on pharmacy malpractice. Learn the pharmacy error Statute of Limitation laws that apply to your state. Call 877-342-2020 for a free consultation.

Preventable Medical Errors Are Harming More People Than Estimated

David W. Hodges
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Partner at Kennedy Hodges LLP practicing pharmacy error, medical malpractice and personal injury law

A 1999 report called To Err is Human—from the Institute of Medicine—has estimated that 100,000 people each year were dying from medical errors. In 2009, a follow-up report found no improvement in patient safety. However, according to a new study in the Journal of Patient Safety, it appears the 100,000 estimate is now considered too low. The new information indicates that approximately 210,000 to 440,000 people are harmed each year in hospitals—leading to their deaths.

Sadly, many of these tragic medical mistakes are preventable. What these shocking numbers indicate is that there is a need for better focus in hospitals in order to stop and prevent medical errors from occurring. According to Don Scott, director of essentials of clinical medicine at the Georgia Regents University-University of Georgia Medical Partnership, “Any time an error occurs, it occurs because not just one person made an error, but because there were probably a series of errors.”

What’s the Cause of Some Medication Errors?

Sometimes, people aren’t the only ones to blame for medication mistakes—flaws in the system could be to blame. For example, a misunderstood feature on a bedside pump caused a patient to receive a dangerously high dose of medication. According to Dr. Stephen Lucas, a professor of quality and safety at the Athens Pulmonary Associates, an IV machine used to deliver drugs can lead to medication errors because there is not a routine for using this device. 

Giving a patient the proper dose of medication via an IV pump is dependent on the patient’s weight. If a doctor entered a patient’s weight in kilograms instead of pounds, or if the machine was set for kilograms but a doctor thought he was entering pounds, the patient can receive too high of a dosage because a kilogram is double the weight of a pound. While doctors and nurses should not have made this type of medical error—pumps should not offer medical professionals the option between pounds and kilograms. Additionally, if hospitals had better processes and doctors could only enter patients’ weight in pounds, medical mistakes could be reduced.

Minimizing Preventable Medical Errors

Sadly, there are way too many preventable errors that occur nationwide. In order to decrease medical errors, Scott and Lucas believe physicians should use checklists in order to provide quality care and reduce medical mistakes. If every doctor would use checklists in operating rooms, patients in hospitals would be safer. In fact, the World Health Organization conducted a study of hospitals in eight cities worldwide and discovered that surgery-related deaths and complications were lowered when surgical checklists were used.

While checklists may help prevent some errors from occurring, many medical mistakes could be reduced if hospitals had better processes in place and if healthcare workers would have better focus, attention, and commitment to patient safety. Only then will medical mistakes be really reduced.

If you have been harmed due to a poor process, doctor error, or medication mistake, please contact Kennedy Hodges to speak with a qualified medication error attorney at 888-526-7616 in a free consultation. We also invite you to request a free copy of our report, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.