Treatment, Medication, or Prescription Errors

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Treatment for an illness or injury can take many forms: pills prescribed by your physician and dispensed by a pharmacist; hospitalization for intravenous medications; physical therapy; radiation treatments; casts or braces; and much more. We depend on our health care providers to prescribe, direct, and deliver these treatments for the right reason, in the right amount, to the right person, at the right time.  Unfortunately, errors are sometimes made that can result in injury or illness for the patient.

Medication errors are unfortunately common. According to an extensive national study by the Institute of Medicine, over 1.5 million Americans are sickened, injured or killed each year by errors in prescribing, dispensing and taking medications. The report found that the errors were not only harmful and widespread but very costly as well.  The extra expense of treating drug-related injuries occurring in hospitals alone was estimated conservatively to be $3.5 billion a year.  The report concluded that:

  • On average, a patient hospitalized in the U.S. will experience at least one medication error per day.
  • Each year, medication errors cause at least 400,000 preventable injuries and deaths in hospitals, more than 800,000 in nursing homes and long-term care facilities, and more than 530,000 among Medicare beneficiaries treated in outpatient settings.
  • Confusing drug labels and packaging cause one-quarter to one-third of all medication errors and contribute to 30 percent of all medication-error deaths.
  • More than half of patients do not take medications exactly as prescribed.
  • Hospitals and long-term care facilities typically do not report medication errors to patients or their family members unless the errors result in injury or death.
  • At least one-quarter of injuries caused by medication errors are clearly preventable.
  • The most common medication errors include nurses administering the wrong medications or wrong dose in a intravenous drip, physicians prescribing drugs that could cause dangerous interaction with patients' other medications, and pharmacists dispensing 100-milligram tablets when 50-milligram tablets were prescribed.

Doctors, pharmacists and pharmaceutical companies can be held accountable for the injuries and illness that often result from misprescribed medications or over-the-counter pharmaceutical products. Prescription errors and medication errors claims include:

  • Wrong prescription strength and administering an incorrect dose.
  • Misdiagnosis of disease resulting in wrong medication.
  • Pharmacy errors, pharmacist negligence, and wrong prescription.
  • Hospital malpractice and emergency room medication errors.
  • Poor handwriting on prescription pad resulting in wrong drug or dosage.
  • Failure to control side effects of medications.

If you or a loved one has been injured by what you believe to be an error in treatment, medication, or prescription, perhaps we can help. To contact a medical malpractice lawyer for a free case evaluation, please complete our free case evaluation form above.

Our attorneys handle matters primarily in Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

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