Furr & Henshaw
Myrtle Beach
Making You Whole Again

Common causes of medication errors

In an effort to understand the root causes of medication errors made in hospitals in South Carolina and nationwide, the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority spearheaded a study that was published recently. In the study, researchers looked at both common causes of medication errors and ways that hospitals can eliminate these types of mistakes. The study considered medication errors to include giving patients the wrong drug, the wrong dosage or administering drugs to the wrong patient.

Two of the biggest sources of errors the researchers found occurred when medical professionals administered drugs and when drug orders were transcribed or transferred, and these errors made up 43 and 38 percent of mistakes respectively. Some of the most common errors related to administration involved medical professionals not ensuring that they were administering drugs to the correct patient. Instead of using protocols to identify a patient, some workers would rely on the patient or a family member to verify a patient's identity. Giving medication to someone sharing a patient's room was also a fairly common mistake.

Transcription errors occurred mainly due to copying information from the wrong patient's chart, and this includes entering a medication order into an electronic database or a patient's records. Less common sources of errors involved ordering a medication on the wrong chart, such as when a husband and wife shared a room, and mislabeling medications.

If a patient receives the wrong medication, it can have harmful or even deadly consequences. Some medications are extremely dangerous and have risky side effects and should not be administered to someone that does not need them. A lawyer may be able to help someone who has been given the wrong medication understand their legal options and represent them in court if needed.

Source: MedCity News, "Why are medication orders going to the wrong patients? Here are four reasons ", Stephanie Baum, June 07, 2013

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
email us for a response
email us for a response

Contact The Office

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Furr & Henshaw
1900 Oak Street
PO Box 2909
Myrtle Beach, SC 29578

Toll Free: 800-648-2947
Phone: 843-213-6737
Fax: 843-448-6445
Myrtle Beach Law Office Map

back to top