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How do pharmaceutical errors happen in hospitals?

On Behalf of | Jun 18, 2023 | Medical Malpractice

When you are in the hospital, you trust that the treatment you will receive meets a certain standard. You expect to receive proper medical care at every stage of your treatment process, from receiving your prognosis to post-surgical care. When your care is less than acceptable or hospital staff make mistakes, you may suffer the consequences. Your health is at stake, and it is critical for any care provider, from nurses to pharmacists, to provide quality care and to strive to avoid mistakes at every step. 

One common mistake that often occurs in hospitals is pharmaceutical errors. These are issues with the medications prescribed by doctors, and they can cause a range of issues with the patient. In serious cases, a medication mistake could result in the worsening of a patient’s condition, or even death. If you suffered as a result of a mistake with a prescription medication while you were in the hospital, you may be a victim of medical malpractice. 

Steps to preventing these missteps 

Thankfully, it is possible to avoid medical errors in hospitals by following certain procedures and prioritizing patient safety. A study from 2019 found that medication errors are the single most common and preventable mistake that caused patient harm in hospitals. Estimates show that this type of mistake could continue to be a serious issue as there is a high turnover rate of hospital staff. These mistakes can happen for a variety of reasons, including the following: 

  • Doctors might make a mistake when they order the medication, perhaps resulting in a patient receiving the wrong medicine or the incorrect dosage. 
  • Pharmacists might misread the prescription, select the wrong medication off the shelf or mix the medication incorrectly. 
  • Nurses or techs might give the wrong patient medication, or they give the medication at the wrong time. 
  • Nurses or techs might program a medication pump incorrectly, resulting in a patient getting the wrong amount of medication or receiving medication at the wrong time. 

It is possible to hold responsible parties accountable for the medication error that caused you harm. An assessment of your case might provide you with the insight you need to make the best possible choices for your individual situation. If a civil claim is the most appropriate course of action, it is in your interests to move quickly to address your concerns, preserve important evidence and fight for the recovery you deserve.