Patient safety is of the utmost importance and most clinics, hospitals and healthcare professionals take the issue very seriously. Furthermore, patient outcomes and regulatory oversight tend to keep many hospitals at bay. However, despite all the progress medicine has made, and the precautions and steps a healthcare provider and a hospital might take to minimize errors, any Philadelphia medication errors lawyer will attest to the fact human errors happen, and medication errors routinely occur.
Our Pennsylvania residents may find it interesting to learn that recently an investigation into medication errors at Illinois nursing homes, which resulted in hospitalizations, found that since 2011 health inspectors reported over 380 medication errors in nursing homes there. Additionally, according that state’s public health data, at least two individuals died due to medication errors, and at least one individual’s delayed or untreated infection resulted in an amputation.
In one case where a nursing home resident had been diagnosed with gastrointestinal cancer, not only did the nursing home fail to give the resident his cancer medication for nearly a year, but it also failed to take the man to his oncology appointments. Sadly, by the time the errors were discovered, the cancer had metastasized. Shortly thereafter the man passed away. In this case, the family sued the nursing home and reached a settlement.
Medication errors can occur at any healthcare facility, and can happen to anyone. Even though healthcare providers take steps to prevent medication errors, they unfortunately continue to happen. However, for a patient and his or her family, all it takes is one such mistake for an adverse and potentially very serious outcome, including a worsened condition. Additionally, any delayed treatment can be harmful and potentially fatal.
Healthcare providers have an on-going duty to provide a reasonable standard of care, and this includes ensuring that one’s medication and dosages are correct. If a healthcare provider fails to provide a reasonable standard of care, then that provider may be held liable for the harm he or she may cause a patient. Anyone who believes he or she, or a loved one, has suffered harm due to negligent care may want to contact a medical malpractice attorney for more information.
Source: 5 NBC Chicago, “Nursing Home Medication Errors Leading to Hospitalizations,” Chris Coffey, Feb. 4, 2014