Hospital Medication Errors

medication errors

You trust that the prescription medicine you take will relieve symptoms of an illness or disease and make you better. But prescription drug dangers such as medication errors injure more than 1.5 million people a year in the United States. Medication mistakes may occur at any point in the health care delivery system, from prescribing of a medication, to processing the prescription, to compounding and dispensing the drug, to the patient taking it.

Indianapolis Medication Error Attorney

If you suspect that you have been harmed by a medication error, it’s in your best interest to let a skilled drug injury attorney review the facts and explain your legal rights. You may be entitled to medical error compensation for the hospital injury you’ve suffered.

The Indianapolis medical malpractice attorney at the Law Office of Kelley J. Johnson assists patients who have been harmed by medication errors.

Call us today or use our online contact form to have us review your case free of charge.

Causes of Medication Errors

A medication error is any preventable event that leads to harm to a patient, while the medication is in the control of the health care professional. Since 2000, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has received more than 95,000 reports of medication errors. They occur for many reasons.

  • Abbreviations: A major cause of dangerous medication errors is the use of abbreviations, symbols and dose expressions. A doctor’s handwriting may be illegible or confusing, causing miscommunication. There may be confusion about the dosing units.
  • Confusing Drug Names: Some drugs have confusing look-alike or sound-alike names. With tens of thousands of brand name and generic drugs on the market, the risk of a medication error due to confusing drug names is significant. Medication errors involving drugs with similar sounding drug names represent approximately 15 percent of reports to the U.S. Pharmacopeia Medication Errors Reporting Program.
  • High-Alert Medications: A small number of medications have a high risk of causing harm to patients when they are prescribed incorrectly. They are known as high-alert medications because the consequences of a medication error are more serious.
    Specific high-alert medications include epoprostenol (Flolan), magnesium sulfate injection, methotrexate, opium tincture, oxytocin, nitroprusside sodium, potassium chloride, potassium phosphates, promethazine, and vasopressin, according to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices.
    Doctors can help reduce medication errors by having essential patient information at the time they prescribe the medication.

Who Can Be Held Liable for Medication Errors?

Medication errors are rarely the result of just one person making an error. Typically, they are a series of failures that allow an error to occur such as a communication breakdown which can lead to pharmacy errors. Preventable medication errors should never occur. When they do, the responsible party or parties should be held accountable before they cause injury to other patients.

Our legal system allows patients harmed by a medication error to seek compensation. That serves to benefit the injured patient and the greater public good as well. Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit focuses attention on a systemic problem and can prevent other patients from being harmed by a medication error.

Contact Our Medication Mistake Lawyer

The Indianapolis medication error lawyer at the Law Office of Kelley J. Johnson is experienced in investigating how medication errors happen and identifying all the potentially liable parties.

With over 15 years of  litigation experience, Kelley J. Johnson has the legal experience and commitment to hold accountable health care providers who injure patients through preventable medication errors.

Call us today or use our online contact form to have us review your case free of charge.