For over 35 years, the Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Susan E. Loggans & Associates have represented patients who have been seriously injured due to medication errors. Medication errors are preventable events that can cause or lead to inappropriate medication use and harm to patients. The number of actual medical errors that occur each year is unknown, but it is estimated that each year as many as 1.3 million people are injured and over 7,000 people die due to medication errors.
Medication errors happen for any number of reasons. For example, many drugs have look-alike and sound-alike names, and poor handwriting or miscommunication in giving drug orders can lead to a patient getting the wrong medication or dose of medication. In addition to look-alike names, many medications have look-alike labeling and packaging that can lead to a patient receiving the wrong medication or dose of medication, sometimes causing serious harm or even death. Other medication errors occur due to confusion of metric units or other dosing units. Medication errors can occur during a patient’s hospitalization, while receiving outpatient care, at the pharmacy, and even in your own home. The American Hospital Association lists the following as some of the most common medication errors:
- Incomplete Patient Information (insufficient information on patients’ allergies, other medicines, prior diagnoses, and lab results, for example);
- Unavailable Drug Information (such as lack of up-to-date warnings);
- Miscommunication of drug orders, which can involve poor handwriting, confusion between drugs with similar names, misuse of zeroes and decimal points, confusion of metric and other dosing units, and inappropriate abbreviations;
- Inappropriate labeling as a drug is prepared and repackaged into smaller units;
- Environmental factors, such as lighting, heat, noise, and interruptions that can distract health professionals from their medical tasks;
- Misfiling or mishandling of prescriptions; and
- Contaminated prescriptions;
Medication errors can be complex, and a number of actors may be responsible for these errors. Responsible parties may include pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, nurses, doctors and drug manufacturers. The results of medication errors are often catastrophic because not only is a patient often not given the appropriate medication, but, rather, they are given a different, dangerous or contraindicated medication.
Chicago malpractice attorney Susan E. Loggans works with many of the best experts and clinicians in the country to evaluate meritorious cases and pursue even the most complex matters. We conduct a thorough evaluation of liability, causation and damages so we can present your claim as completely as possible.
If you or a loved one is the victim of a medication error that has resulted in serious injury or death, please contact Susan E. Loggans & Associates at (302) 201-8600 or click here for a free consultation. WE WILL FIGHT FOR YOU.