Medication errors are a serious issue which can have many implications for those affected. Medication errors are those mistakes which occur in the prescribing, dispensing, or taking of medication. Every year, over a million Americans become sick or are injured as a result of preventable medication errors.

Medication Errors

While medication errors tend to be associated with the administration of prescribed medicines, in reality, errors occur in all facets of the distribution process, including:

  • Packaging
  • Prescribing
  • Repackaging
  • Dispensing
  • Administrating
  • Monitoring

According to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the most common reasons for these errors in medication are the result of:

  • Poor communication
  • Ambiguities found in product names, product directions, or medical abbreviations or writing
  • Poor procedures and techniques
  • Patient misuse

Also, they point to other factors, such as poor training or product knowledge, stresses related to the job, or similar packaging to other medicines as contributors to the cause of medication errors. Yearly, The World Health Organization (WHO) states that 1.5 million Americans are injured by medication errors, with one person dying each day as a result of preventable mistakes.  

The Three Most Common Medication Errors

Improper Dosage

Improper dosages of medication are the direct result in a breakdown of communication. Whether it is poor penmanship by the attending doctor, the wrong dosage being written down, a lack of concentration by the pharmacist or nursing staff, or any other reason, the improper dosage is a simple mistake which may prove deadly. In fact, according to FDA studies, roughly 41-percent of all preventable medication deaths are the result of improper dosage of medications.

Administering the Wrong Drug

Mistakes can happen. But when the wrong drug is administered, this can have deadly consequences. When patients are given the incorrect medicine, they could face serious side effects – particularly if they are allergic to the drug wrongly administered. If you are given the incorrect drug, your body may react in ways that cannot be fully understood ahead of time. In fact, the same FDA study listed previously found that nearly 20-percent of preventable medication deaths were the direct result of administering the incorrect drug.

Incorrect Method of Administration

It may not seem like a big deal, but the improper method of administration of a drug can have serious health implications. In the case of Fleming v Baptist General Convention in 1987, a patient was given medicine subcutaneously, rather than through intramuscular IV. This lead to the patient suffering tissue necrosis as a direct result of the improper delivery of the medication. Failing to administer medication correctly is a worrying combination of lack of concentration and poor communication by the medical team and has been found to result in roughly 20-percent of all negligent medication deaths a year.

Contact DeZao Law Today 

Medication mistakes are nothing to laugh at. It is potentially deadly consequences. If you are the victim of medication errors, don’t trust your claim with just any personal injury firm, and make sure you speak with an experienced New Jersey personal injury attorney. Choose the best personal injury attorneys in the State of New Jersey. Choose the Law Offices of James C. DeZao, P.A. Our firm is here to assist you with your case and help you claim the compensation you rightly deserve. Call us today at (973) 358-6134 for a free consultation.