In a 2007 study titled Medication Safety in a Psychiatric Hospital, researchers discovered that the rate of serious medication errors was 6.3 per 1,000 patient days (a patient day is the number of days a person is hospitalized). In addition, hospitals showed an adverse drug reaction rate of 10 per 1,000 patient days.
The types of medication problems reported from 2006 to 2008 include:
- Wrong medication. Many patients were hospitalized or put on medical watch as a result of being given a wrong dose or the wrong medicine.
- Missed doses. In some cases, patients suffered adverse reactions because they were not given any medication at all. Reasons for lack of treatment ranged from drugs not being sent by the pharmacy to a doctor’s failure to order the medication. One patient missed 28 doses of the anti-schizophrenic drug Clozaril simply because the medicine was never re-ordered by the pharmacy.
- Drugs given to wrong patients. There were a number of instances where medications were switched between patients. Many of these were due to patients having the same or similar last names. One patient received 13 doses of a drug meant for someone else.
- Human error. There were many instances of nurses incorrectly transcribing a doctor's orders and confusing drugs with similar names, leading patients to suffer medication error injuries. Pharmacy staff was also at fault, occasionally sending the wrong medication or wrong dosages to patient floors.
- Expired medicines. Patients were also regularly given drugs that were past their expiration date. One patient received the inhalant asthma medication Advair 22 days after it expired.
Unfortunately, hospital medication problems run deeper than simple mistakes. Reports from the Medication Safety Committee found that medications were stored in rooms that were too hot, and that narcotics were occasionally kept in unlocked areas. These oversights led to other problems, including abuse; a nurse was disciplined in March 2007 after six doses of Tylenol 3 with Codeine went missing.
Our prescription drug error lawyersdon’t believe that victims should have to suffer the painful effects of someone else’s negligence. That’s why we fight to get drug injury victims compensation for their medical bills--and get accountability from the hospital that caused their injuries.
Call Kennedy Hodges today at (888) 526-7616 to get a FREE, one-on-one consultation on your drug error case. If you would like more information, simply click the link above and we’ll rush you a FREE copy of our report, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.