Atlanta Medication Error Attorney
According to the CDC, 700,000 people visit the ER every year due to an adverse drug event, and 120,000 are hospitalized annually from medication errors. Meanwhile, more and more drugs are continually being developed and pushed, not just to treat an existing condition but to prevent a disease the person may or may not have ever incurred. Additionally, a great many drugs end up being prescribed for some off-label use the drug was not developed for and was never tested or approved by the FDA for that purpose.
Doctors and nurses must be careful when prescribing or administering drugs. You can be hurt by a medication error and not have any idea that a medication mistake is the source of the harm. Atlanta medication error attorney Stacey Carroll has access to a team of medical experts who can figure out what went wrong and why. If you think you may have been the victim of a medication error, call the Carroll Law Firm for a free consultation on your options.
What are medication errors?
There are many different ways medication errors occur, and the fault can lie with the doctor, nurse, pharmacist or hospital. Some drugs are known as high-alert medications because of their likelihood to cause severe injury or death if mishandled. High-alert medications include opioids, anticoagulants, insulin and many others. Of course, medical professionals should always exercise reasonable care and competence to make sure mistakes don’t occur with any drug, high alert or not. Even if no additional harm is inflicted, at the very least a medication error will result in the patient not being adequately treated for an illness, injury or disease.
Despite the potential for harm, medication errors do occur with alarming frequency. Some of the most common medication mistakes that doctors, nurses, hospitals and pharmacies make are:
- Doctor prescribes the wrong medicine
- Doctor prescribes the wrong dosage
- Doctor prescribes a drug without considering the patient’s medical history, drug allergies or interactions with other drugs the patient is taking
- Pharmacist fills a prescription with the wrong medicine
- Pharmacist fills a prescription with the wrong dosage
- Pharmacist types incorrect instructions on the label
- Nurse administers the wrong drug
- Nurse administers the wrong dosage
- Nurse gives drugs to the wrong patient
- The doctor or the pharmacist fails to warn the patient about side effects
- The hospital fails to monitor changes in the condition of the patient
- A pain pump is incorrectly programmed, or an insulin pen malfunctions, delivering too much or too little of the drug
How can medication errors be prevented?
Research shows that 90% of medication errors can be prevented with just a few reasonable steps that would be fairly easy to implement. Solutions include:
- Improving communication between doctors and nurses
- Making sure patient charts are accurate and up to date
- Making sure drugs and storage bins are clearly labeled
- Training staff to steer clear of distractions when they are selecting medications
- Printing or typing out prescriptions, or making sure to use legible handwriting
- Double-checking dosage amounts, especially when zeros and decimal points are involved
- Double-checking dosages when converting from metric or other units
- Double-checking patient identity and prescription before administering or dispensing medication
- Eliminating the use of nonstandard or confusing abbreviations
Thousands of prescription drugs exist, and lots of medicines look or sound alike. Hospitals, doctor’s offices and pharmacies are busy places, and workers have a lot on their mind. Yet taking just a little extra time to ensure patient safety is a reasonable step to avoid medication errors and the severe harm they can cause.
Call Atlanta Medical Malpractice Attorney Stacey Carroll to Fight Medication Errors
If you believe a medication error in Atlanta may have harmed you, call the Carroll Law Firm at 404-816-4555 for a free consultation. If we find that medical malpractice occurred, we’ll fight to see you are fully compensated for the harm which has been done to you.