Medication errors often involve patients getting the wrong drugs. Often, these patients have no idea that the mistake has occurred. They are simply given a pill or a solution, or a drug is administered through an IV, and they assume that the hospital is giving them what they need. They don’t know that anything has gone wrong until they start to see symptoms, which could be serious and potentially fatal.
But why do these medication errors happen? Let’s look at a few reasons that can play a role.
One issue is when the distribution practices in the hospital itself are not very strict. Maybe drugs are labeled incorrectly or control systems are ignored. It’s easier for mistakes and mix-ups to happen.
Additionally, a nurse could be given the wrong records or may accidentally look at the wrong file. If they think they are giving medication to one patient, but are actually interacting with another, switching medications could be detrimental to both of them.
Finally, communication errors can certainly play a role. For instance, a message could be passed through multiple people telling a nurse which drug is needed, but one mistake in that chain could mean that the wrong drug is provided. The nurse at the end, who technically gives out the wrong medication, doesn’t even know that they are making a mistake as they make it.
Those who’ve been harmed by medication errors need to know about all the legal options they have. They may have a right to substantial compensation.