All medication that is administered to a patient in the hospital comes from the hospital pharmacy. Safety rule violations that can lead to life threatening implications are:

  • Mixing the wrong combination of medications
  • Misreading the physician’s prescription dosage and providing dosages that are dangerously high or low
  • Dispensing a drug or medication with a similar name to the one prescribed

In 2008, researchers estimated that potentially preventable adverse drug events kill 7000 Americans annually, and that medication safety rule violations that result in harm are the number one cause of inpatient fatalities. These violations pose the greatest risks and consequences in critical care settings, where patients are sicker and lack the alertness to respond adequately to an adverse event. What’s more, critical care patients typically receive twice as many medications as patients on general floors. Approximately 20% of critical care medication safety rule violations are potentially life threatening, and 42% of these errors necessitate additional life-sustaining treatments. 

Issue Date: March 2010 Vol. 5 No. 3 Authors: Pamela Anderson, MS, RN, APN-BC, CCRN and Terri Townsend, MA, RN, CCRN, BC, CVN-II

At Culmo Trial Attorneys, we have decades of experience investigating and proving claims of hospital malpractice. If you, a loved one, or someone you know has been injured due to hospital malpractice, please contact our firm or fill out a free case evaluation.

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