You might imagine that most medication mistakes take place in someone’s home. People could take too many pills or take the wrong medication. Fewer people think of medication mistakes as something that will likely occur at a professional medical facility.
While you may have total faith in the professionals providing your care, medical malpractice statistics make it clear that medication errors are one of the most common forms of medical malpractice. Where do medication mistakes occur in a professional medical setting?
At the pharmacy
Perhaps there is a mix-up at the printer, and a staff member applies the wrong labels to prescription vials. It would also be possible for ignition or pharmacist compounding fluid medication for intravenous (IV) administration to make mistakes while blending the drug.
At the nurse’s desk
Many things can go wrong at a nursing home or hospital when tracking the administration of medication to patients. Nurses might mark that they handed out medication and forget that one patient spit their pills on the floor. They might mix up medications while organizing them to distribute to patients on their rounds later in their shift. Such mistakes can result in people missing doses or receiving the wrong medication, both of which can have major consequences.
In a patient’s room
Factors ranging from external distractions to exhaustion might lead to a medical professional making a mistake while handing patients medication or setting up IV drug administration. While machines handle most of the IV drug process, the rate of delivery for the medication depends on the nurse inputting the right information into the machine. It’s also possible that there could be a mix-up of the IV bags which would result in someone receiving the wrong medication.
Any time that professionals handle or dispense drugs, the possibility of human error exists. Protecting yourself against medical malpractice may require that you first identify times when you are at risk of medical mistakes.