Today’s medications are powerful drugs. They can be life-saving when appropriately administered to combat disease and infection. At the same time, they can be devastating when improperly given to patients. A study by the Institute of Medicine says medication errors harm at least 1.5 million people every year.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one due to a medication error, you have the right to hold the at-fault party or parties accountable. To learn how the Chicago medication error medical malpractice lawyers at Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., can help you, call us toll free or contact us online. We can schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation. We help clients throughout Chicago, Waukegan, Cook County, Lake County and across Illinois.
Medication Errors are Preventable Errors
Medication errors can occur at any stage, from prescription and administration of a drug to monitoring of the patient’s response. A study by the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health cited 7,000 deaths per year from medication errors in hospitals, while the Institute of Medicine estimates that, on average, there is at least one medication error per hospital patient per day. These errors include:
- 400,000 preventable drug-related injuries in hospitals
- 800,000 medication injuries in long-term care settings (such as nursing homes)
- 530,000 medical errors among Medicare recipients in outpatient clinics.
The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy cited several causes of medication errors, including:
- Illegible handwritten prescriptions that lead to pharmacy errors
- Insufficient or missing information about co-prescribed medications, past dose-response relationships, laboratory values and allergic sensitivities
- Filling medication orders with sound-alike names when prescriptions are given orally.
The Medication Error Reporting Program operated cooperatively by the United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) says drugs with similar-sounding names may account for up to 25 percent of all pharmacy errors, according to the Institute of Medicines. Labeling and packaging issues were cited as the cause of 33 percent of errors, including 30 percent of fatalities, reported to the program.
Both the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy and the Institute of Medicines said physicans’ distribution of free drug samples provided by manufacturers has become a worrisome factor in medication errors. When free drug samples are distributed, there is no proper documentation of the medications’ use by the patient, and the usual drug-interaction checks and counseling that are integral parts of the standard prescription process are neglected, the organizations said.
Let Our Experienced Chicago Medication Error Attorneys Help You
When a patient is harmed by a negligent act or failure to act by a doctor, nurse, physician’s assistant, pharmacist or others involved with administering medication, it may be an actionable case of pharmacist malpractice, hospital negligence, medical negligence or medical malpractice.
This might include failure to follow procedures established to prevent medication errors, as well as failure to diagnose, treat or manage a medication overdose or the administration of incorrect medication.
Depending on the circumstances, a hospital, the hospital staff, a pharmacy, or another medical care provider and its staff may be defendants in a medical malpractice lawsuit that seeks compensation for the victim of a medication error or a deceased victim’s surviving family members.
A medication error attorney with experience in medical malpractice claims can help evaluate the circumstances of your injury or your loved one’s injury or death from a pharmaceutical error. An attorney works with accredited medical experts to determine whether pharmacological and healthcare standards were met. A lawyer will be able to advise you of your legal options.
For instance, in a recent case, the medication error lawyers of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. secured a record-setting $8.25 million settlement on behalf of a Chicago couple whose prematurely born son died at a Park Ridge hospital after receiving a lethal dose of sodium in his IV nutrient bag. The case not only secured the couple’s financial future, but it prompted the hospital to heighten its focus on patient safety and take comprehensive steps to ensure similar errors do not occur in the future.
Contact Our Chicago Medication Error Lawyers Today
If you have concerns about the medication you or a loved one received or failed to receive as prescribed by a hospital or another health care institution, contact the Chicago medication error attorneys of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. for a free, no-obligation consultation. Call us toll free or use our online form. We help medication error victims throughout Illinois, including in Chicago, Waukegan, Cook County, Lake County and surrounding communities.
Remember: Medical malpractice lawsuits must be filed within strict deadlines. It is important to get a start on your case as soon as possible. So, don’t delay. Contact us immediately.