Pharmacy errors are often deadly, and most victims of pharmacy error or their families will never discover the error. This is due in large part to the fact that underlying diseases and illnesses are often believed to be the cause of symptoms or death. The reality is that approximately 25% of pharmacy errors may be adverse drug situations, or situations where a patient suffers a serious consequence from the error. (See “How many hospital pharmacy errors go undetected?“, a 2006 study by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.)
In many cases, the patient and his or her family is never even told of the error. While hospital pharmacists usually detect the error, roughly 21% of the errors go undetected. Unfortunately, when such errors are discovered, it is too late.
Related Pennsylvania Hospital Pharmacy Error Legal Article: Pennsylvania & New Jersey Hospital Emergency Room Malpractice – Pharmacy Errors
Common kinds of hospital pharmacy errors include:
- incorrect dosages,
- medication mix up,
- contamination, and
- incorrect strength.
In life and death situations, these kinds of pharmacy errors can be catastrophic, and when they occur, the hospital may bear liability under Pennsylvania medical malpractice and hospital malpractice law. Liability in these situations often revolves around the pharmacy’s practices, procedures and protocols. Many hospitals have outdated procedures and outdated pharmacy distribution systems. For example, nurses who administer medications may be responsible for administering medications for multiple patients. This is one situation which can result in error-when the nurse mixes up the medications.
Several years ago, my firm represented a young boy who underwent a kidney operation and was given the wrong medication. The child suffered serious brain damage and significant developmental delays resulted.
Patients want to believe that they are safe at a hospital, but the reality is that these kinds of pharmacy errors can and do occur.
For more information, contact our Pennsylvania & New Jersey hospital emergency room lawyers at 215.925.4451. Our lawyers are available for a free, no obligation legal consultation.
Related Pennsylvania hospital/emergency room malpractice articles:
- Pennsylvania Hospital Medical Malpractice Law – Theories of Negligence Against Hospitals
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Hospital Emergency Room Malpractice Law – The Statute of Limitations
- Proving Emergency Room Mistake & Medical Malpractice in Pennsylvania
The lawyers at Schwartz & Blackman handle hospital malpractice cases in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey area:
- PA: Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County, Allentown, Lehigh Valley, Norristown, Philadelphia
- NJ: Atlantic County, Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Camden, Cherry Hill, New Jersey shore cities
*This website does not provide legal advice. Every case is unique and it is important to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case. See the full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.
Published: August 28, 2012