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Medication errors can lead to hospital negligence

Is it possible that hospital patients and their families are too trusting? A nurse walks into a patient's room within a New Jersey hospital and gives the patient medication. The patient often takes the medication with little if any questions being asked. Yet, a recent research study suggests the number of medication errors and possible hospital negligence cases that occur is staggering.

A current research study indicates that almost 100,000 deaths in the United States each year are the direct result of medication errors. Furthermore, over one million patients suffer as the result of the incorrect drug being administered. Heart medication was the most commonly reported drug that was incorrectly administered. Additionally, the majority of errors occurred within surgical units, with intensive care units coming in second. These numbers are the result of a five hospital study of error reports over a three year time period.

Hospitalization and/or surgery of any type can be a traumatic experience. However, when the problem is cardiovascular in nature, the individual and his or her family is typically even more concerned. In addition to the patient's overall condition and the surgical outcome, it now appears that one needs to also be aware of the medication being administered.

Fortunately, many New Jersey hospitals and medical centers have protocols in place to make sure that the appropriate medications are administered to the proper patient. However, mistakes can and do happen. When such a mistake results in the death or worsening condition of the patient, there is a possibility that hospital negligence is involved. In that case, the patient and/or family will want to investigate the available legal options.

Source:, "Medication errors more common with cardiovascular drugs than other drug classes", Tim Casey, Jan. 27, 2017

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Alan D. Bell
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