Approximately 6,800 different types of prescription medications are available in the United States and dispensed in Pennsylvania hospitals. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 7,000 to 9,000 people die in the U.S. annually as the result of some sort of medication error. This includes people who lose their lives as the result of medication dispensing errors that occur while hospitalized. Thousands of additional patients are injured each year because of medication dispensing errors in a hospital setting.
Common causes of medication dispensing errors in hospitals
There exist a number of commonplace causes of medication dispensing errors in hospitals. These include:
- Health care worker fatigue
- Improper chart notations
- Mistakes in medication orders
- Patient mix-ups
- Mislabeled medication
- Poor handwriting on a prescription or medication order
- Dosage administration errors
Medical malpractice and hospital medication dispensing errors
One or more of several parties might be deemed responsible for a hospital medication dispensing error, including:
- Physician assistants
- Nurse aides
- Hospitals or medical centers
Depending on the circumstances, when a medical malpractice claim arises involving a hospital medication dispensing error, the drug manufacturer or pharmaceutical company may also be deemed to be responsible. This might occur as the result of deficient product labeling or a similar issue.
A victim of medical malpractice involving a medication dispensing error in a hospital is wise to seek qualified, experienced legal assistance. The reality is that a medical malpractice lawsuit represents one of the most legally-complex types of civil actions. A typical layperson understandably lacks the background to effectively pursue such a claim to a positive resolution.