Jeffrey H. Dover
Connect with me
Atlanta Auto Accident and Medical Malpractice Attorney
Medication errors, while largely avoidable, are widespread and prevalent and affect approximately 1.5 million people per year. Thousands are estimated to die from medication-related errors each year as well.

According to medical literature, the most commonly reported medication-related errors are:

  • Omission. The physician fails to give the patient the drug.
  • Repetition. An extra dosage is incorrectly given to the patient.
  • Substitution. An incorrect drug is given to the patient.
  • Insertion. A drug that was not intended to be administered is given to the patient.
  • Incorrect dosing. The type of medication is correct but the dosage is wrong.
  • Incorrect route. The medication is correct while the route is not.
  • Ignorance of allergy. When a patient is allergic to a medication provided by his or her doctor.
  • Failure to adjust dose to patient age. Often, the age of the patient plays a pivotal role in determining the dosage of the medication given. If the dosage isn't adjusted properly due to age, this error occurs.
  • Failure to adjust dose to patient's renal function. If dose adjustments aren't made to account for organ functionality (such as with the kidneys), this error has occurred.
  • Failure to Recognize Contraindications. A drug is given to the patient that cannot be mixed with one of the medications the patient is already taking.
  • Confusing "sound-alike" drugs. An incorrect drug's name sounds like the pronunciation of the correct medication's name.
  • Confusing "look-alike" drugs. Drugs that look very similar,.
  • Confusing one patient for another. Different patients can have completely different medical histories, conditions, and allergies, so an error like this can be especially dangerous.
  • Not recording the administration of a drug. Errors such as this one can lead to multiple doses administered to the patient incorrectly.
  • Misreading a prescription. The misreading of a prescription can be very scary, as the patient may end up taking a completely unrelated medication for a condition that isn't present.

One other way that medication-related errors can occur is through the failure of a physician to monitor a drug's effects with lab testing.

The effects of these errors can range from no harm to serious injury and possibly death.
Comments are closed.