Preventing Medication Errors

When patients in Connecticut receive the wrong medication from their health care providers, the consequences can be serious and even deadly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adverse events from the use of medications are the cause of more than 700,000 emergency room visits around the country every year. Many of these emergency room visits could have been prevented if simple safety precautions were taken.

Nurses, doctors and pharmacists may be able to prevent medication-related injuries by checking the identity of their patients and making sure that the patients are being given the correct medications. When patients are in the hospital, their wristbands should be checked before they are allowed to take medication. The medication that is being given to the patient may also have a label attached to it that can be checked and matched to the patient.

Even if patients are given the correct medication, they could be injured by an incorrect dosage. Health care providers should make sure that the medication dose that they are giving to a patient matches the patient’s prescription. Checking the method of administration is also important for patient safety as medication that is administered intravenously has a different effect than medication administered orally.

A patient who was injured because of a medication error might want to file a medical malpractice lawsuit seeking appropriate damages from the health care providers that were responsible. An attorney can assist by gathering evidence from the patient’s medical records in addition to the opinions of medical experts that may help to demonstrate that actionable negligence occurred.