Articles Posted in Medication Errors

Hospitals In Illinois that are BADA national hospital safety watchdog group has just issued its semi-annual report card on U.S. hospitals, giving 46 Illinois hospitals an “A” grade and four a “D” for patient care. The state was ranked 11 overall among states, an improvement from 14th place in spring 2019.

The nonprofit Leapfrog Group grades hospitals on how well they protect patients from medical errors, injuries and infections.

Of the 108 Illinois hospitals surveyed, 46 earned an A, 19 earned a B, and 39 earned a C. Of the four that received a D, only one is outside the Chicago area: UnityPoint Health in Pekin, Illinois. The rest were Mount Sinai Hospital, John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital, and University of Illinois Hospital.  None received an F.

Death of Veteran while under care A forty-year-old army veteran died in Asheville, NC mere days after he and his family moved into a new home from a lethal medication error.While the hospital responsible for his care admitted to the mistake, it refuses to bear any responsibility for the actions that led to his unnecessary and preventable passing. He was admitted to the VA Medical Center for the treatment of an infection and was given four times the ordered dosage of a narcotic for pain control on two different occasions. The results were cardiac arrest and his subsequent death.

Jason Powell Was a Career Military Man

The Powells had just moved to Asheville after Jason received terminal leave in July of 2012. He had served the army for more than twenty years and had just celebrated his retirement. Coming down with symptoms of what he thought was a common flu, he was admitted to the VA Medical Center when he realized something wasn’t right.

Nurses and Medication ErrorsThe Chicago medical malpractice attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC frequently handle cases involving complications that have arisen due to medication errors. While the causes for these errors can vary greatly, one thing remains consistent— nurses are always going to be the last line of defense between an incorrect medication or dosage and the administration of that medication to the patient. Whenever a nurse fails to ensure that a patient is receiving the exact medication and dosage that he or she should be receiving, the incorrect administration of medication occurs, resulting in the potential for serious complications that could be life threatening.

Understanding How Medication Errors Occur Can Help Prevent Them

When a patient is given the wrong medication or an incorrect dosage, the error needs to be traced back to where things initially went wrong. In order for a patient to receive medicine, a doctor must first write a prescription for the medication and indicate a dose and method of administration. This includes how frequently the medication must be provided, at what time during the day and which route it needs to be provided by. The next step is the fulfillment of the prescription by a pharmacist, who reviews the instructions provided by the doctor and then provides the medication in the correct dose.

Errors in Medication May Occur at Time of PrescribingMedication errors in hospitals and nursing facilities have become a serious concern now that studies have suggested these errors occur at a rate of once a day per patient. The driving factor influencing medication errors may be the quantity of medications being prescribed and administered. On average, patients are prescribed between nine and ten medications, increasing the likelihood that at least one of those medications will be administered incorrectly or interact with another medication being taken. It appears that the solution to this dilemma may be as simple as limiting the amount of medications that any patient is administered during a hospital stay and reevaluating the need for patients to continue taking medications following discharge.

Administering Fewer Medications Has More Benefits than Risks

On first glance, it may seem irresponsible to take patients off of medications that they are taking regularly prior to intake, but medical professionals are beginning to find that the benefits outweigh the risks. There are certain medications that are considered to be a part of a never stop list such as blood pressure medications or medications taken to regulate blood sugar levels, but most other drugs can be evaluated when a patient is admitted to a hospital to determine whether the patient truly needs the medication and if he or she could do without it during a hospital stay. The benefits of eliminating unnecessary medications include the following.

Mix up With Medication Can KillWhen Roy Rach entered into St. Joseph’s Caretel Inn upon leaving the hospital after receiving treatment for an abnormal heartbeat, he was only supposed to be there for a few days to recover. According to his daughter, he went in alert and happy. When he left the facility, he was on a stretcher, in a diabetic coma. According to state records, Rach’s diabetes went untreated while in St. Joseph’s Caretel Inn.

Unfortunately for his family and for Rach himself, he never recovered from the coma. Just days after Thanksgiving, he passed away. His daughter states that while the hospital may have saved his life, it was his nursing home that ended it.

Not a unique situation

Hospital Errors can be found with Malpractice LawyersEasy Ways to Eliminate Malpractice in Hospitals

When you go the hospital, you likely expect that surgeons and staff will take care of you during your stay. Unfortunately, congested hospitals and inadequate staffing levels have negatively impacted the quality of care delivered to patients. Patients can no longer blindly trust that they will receive the necessary care that is required of medical professionals.

Patients can prepare for a hospital stay by learning about common-sense ways that medical professionals can do to prevent hospital errors. Campaign Zero provides checklists to patients and helps them become informed about the standards that medical professionals must meet in a hospital environment. Armed with this knowledge, patients can stay aware of any ways in which medical professionals fail to deliver the required standard of care under the law. These checklists contain information about easy ways to reduce medical errors, such as propping a patient’s bed at a 30-degree angle to prevent pneumonia or using bleach wipes to kill germs in a patient’s room. Patients can also consume high-protein snacks to ward off bedsores and develop strength in recovery.

Phamacy errorThe consequences of a person receiving the wrong medication or the wrong instructions when they have their prescriptions filled at a pharmacy can be deadly. A nationwide study conducted through the Auburn University in Alabama found that 2 out of 100 prescriptions have errors, either in the content or in the labeling. This can attribute to over 60 million prescription errors each year in the U.S, many of which can be prevented. 

Common Causes For Errors

There are many different reasons that these prescription errors happen, from plain human error to equipment. In the Auburn University study, they looked at several factors and found correlation between certain circumstances that seemed to attribute to both the error rate and the rate that errors were detected.

Verdicts in Stevens Johnson LawsuitsStevens-Johnson Syndrome is a serious medical condition known to cause severe allergic reactions that include intense blisters and rashes on the body. In some incidences, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) (see our Stevens Johnson page here) has been linked directly to adverse reactions from prescription medication. Because there is a lack of awareness concerning the disease, symptoms are many times overlooked or misdiagnosed. Because the symptoms are missed, patients often experience an increase in the severity of the medical condition, sometimes resulting in death.

There are documented SJS side effects and reactions to a variety of prescription medications and medical conditions. Reactions have occurred when taking antibiotics, barbiturates, anti-convulsions, and sulfa drugs, along with NSAIDs (non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs). Certain medical conditions including bacterial or viral infections and malignant diseases are also known to cause significant reactions.

Immune Complex Hypersensitivity Reaction