In 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported that it sees over 100,000 medication error reports daily.
That same year, the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) said that 10% of hospital patients will experience a medication error.
Other disturbing facts
Over seven million patients were affected by a medication mistake in 2016. In addition:
- Nearly one in five drug doses received in a hospital occurred in error
- More than 41% of U.S. citizens report involvement in medication errors
- At least one death involving a medication error occurs in America every day
As you can see, medical malpractice via medication errors is a big problem in our country.
Why do they happen?
According to one source, many medication names look alike and sound alike, often leading to confusion and mistakes. For example, Doxil, a chemotherapy drug, could easily be confused with Paxil, an antidepressant. It is safe to say that the accidental use of Paxil rather than Doxil would do nothing to treat cancer patients and could be harmful in high doses.
Other causes of medication errors include:
- Manufacturing drugs incorrectly
- Administering medicine improperly
- Prescribing insufficient drug doses
- Failing to label medications accurately
- Prescribing dangerously high dosages
- Giving patients medicine meant for others
Sometimes, medication mistakes occur due to circumstances. In a busy emergency department, for example, a harried nurse or doctor could mistakenly give you an overdose or administer a dangerous medicine you do not need.
Some people fail to understand that a medication error by a professional within a professional environment (hospital, doctor’s office, etc.) is a form of medical malpractice. When such mistakes result in harm, you have a right to be compensated for your injuries and suffering.
Learning more about the New Mexico medical malpractice laws can help you create a strong foundation upon which to build your claim.