Medication Errors

Medication errors are the THIRD LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH in America, after heart disease and cancer. This is established by recent medical research by John Hopkins University Medical Center. Cancer or heart disease can kill you on their own without the added carelessness of your healthcare provider. Although your life was not in any real danger, you are harmed by hospital, doctor or nursing negligence. It is the carelessness of the healthcare provider that kills or seriously injures the patient, separate and apart from why reason they were being treated. Patient harm is often as simple as administration of the wrong medication, the wrong dose of medication or delivering a medication via the wrong route resulting in permanent injury. A nurse may set the infusion rate at 15.0 dosing units when the doctor ordered 1.5. The patient is not told this but is told the injury or death was a risk of treatment.

There are 34 drugs that must be administered very carefully. Any carelessness with these medications will have a horrible outcome. For example, the proper infusion rate may be 1.5 dosing units; if the nurse inadvertently and carelessly enters 15.0 this can quite possibly KILL or seriously injure the patient. The patient may suspect something, but is seldom told the truth. These 34 drugs include but are not limited to:

Promethazine, IV; Epinephrine, subcutaneous, epoprostenol(Flolan)IV; insulin U-500; magnesium sulfate injection; methotrexate, oral, non-oncologic use; opium tincture; oxytocin, IV; nitroprusside sodium for injection, potassium chloride for injection concentrate; potassium phosphates injection; vasopressin, IV or intraosseous; Amiodarone; burmetanide; DOBUTamine; DOPamine; EPI/CAL; Esmolol(Brevibloc); Furosemide; Isopreterenol; Labetaolo; Lidocaine; LORazepam; Midazolam; Milrinone; Neosynephrine; Nesiritide; nicardipine; Nitroglycerin Glass Only; Norepinephrine (levophed); PENTobarbital; Procainamide; Propofol; Theophyllin; Abciximab(Reopro); Eptifibatide (Integrilin); fentanyl(Sublimaze); Heparin; HYDROmorphone; Morphine PCA or IV; Vecuronium; Mesalamine and Azathioprine(Imuran).

The CDC has repeatedly cautioned health care providers about these risks. (Read more). When the medical team still gets it wrong, you need to call me.

Another example of careless medication errors is administration of undiluted Phenergan (promethazine) directly into a patient’s vein. This causess dmage to blood vessels and nerves is severe and permanent. The patient could even lose that arm. If it is possible to save the patient’s arm, they will still have permanent damage. There has been a “black box warning” on promethazine that advises medical care providers not to do this since 2009 but hospitals and emergency rooms still break the black box rule.

Medical care providers often tell the patient’s family that things just did not go well. If a hospital or doctor provided poor care that caused very serious damage or death the patient’s family is entitled to money damages and benefits. All medical care providers are required to exercise good care. If a hospital or doctor waives their costs and there is a permanent injury, they are trying to distract you until it is too late to recover damages.

Aldred Law Firm and ISMP (Institute of Safe Medicine Practices) are on your side. If you suspect you or a family member has been a victim of a medication error contact lawyer Aldred immediately or submit an inquiry form here. A deadline to take legal action is running. Attorney Aldred is experienced in medical malpractice in state and federal court and against the military with the Federal Tort Claim Act. Board Certified as a Civil Trial Specialist.

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