Medication Errors a Major Concern

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo & Plotkin LLP

For most surgical patients, the moment between going to sleep and waking up is the most carefree moment of the entire surgical process. So long as we wake up having not suffered an injury, we may never actually know if there were any issues during surgery. Unfortunately, some of the most common surgical mistakes don’t always result in serious injury.

According to some studies, medication errors occur during almost half of all surgeries. These errors may include things like incorrect dosing, erroneous drug labeling or even a failure to treat. While many of these medication errors result in adverse drug events, not all of them result in serious injury, which may make it difficult to prove happened.

Although medication errors seem to occur at an alarming rate, identifying them and pushing for change may be incredibly difficult. Even when roughly 80 percent of these errors are preventable, actually identifying those that may be subject to a medical malpractice lawsuit can prove challenging. Until there is real change with how medication errors are recorded, patients may remain in the dark on complications they have suffered during surgical procedures.

The same study reports that approximately 2 percent of all medication errors may produce an adverse drug event that can be considered life-threatening. Keeping in mind these errors are likely preventable and should not happen in the first place, patients that have experienced a serious or life-threatening adverse drug event may wish to speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney.

Until the frequency of medication errors decreases, it may be up to the victims and their loved ones to hold negligent doctors and hospital staff accountable for these reckless and potentially deadly operating room mistakes.

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