Most patients are not familiar with the prescription drugs and dosages that should be used to treat medical conditions. That is why we rely on doctors to prescribe the most appropriate drug and in the correct dosage. When we are in the hospital, we also trust that the nursing staff will administer the drug as instructed. However, medication errors are a huge problem and injure approximately 1.5 million people every year in the United States.
The problem of drug errors is so prevalent that it costs nearly $3.5 billion each year to cover extra medical expenses and treatment for drug-related injuries that occur in hospitals. According to a report by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, this figure does not take into account lost wages and productivity or other health care expenses.
Studies have shown that approximately 400,000 preventable drug-related injuries occur in hospitals annually and another 800,000 occur in long-term care settings. Also, it has been estimated that nearly 530,000 preventable drug-related injuries affect Medicare recipients in outpatient clinics every year.
A medication error is defined as a mistake involving a prescription drug, over-the-counter product, vitamin, mineral or herbal supplement. Drug errors can take place at any time when a medication is prescribed, administered or monitored. Experts believe that an average of one medication error occurs at each hospital on a daily basis. Even though not all drug errors will lead to death, many will cause serious health complications.
If you have been harmed by a medication error, you may be able to hold the medical provider accountable for their negligent actions. Contact a Louisville medical malpractice lawyer today at the law office of Gray and White Law at 1-502-210-8942 or 1-888-450-4456 (toll free) for advice regarding your case. We will be able to review your case to determine who is responsible for the medication mistake. A successful case could entitle you to compensation for your injuries.