Half of All Medication Errors Occur During Operation

Studies by one of the most prestigious medical centers, Massachusetts General Hospital, discovered that half of all surgeries result in medication error or drug effects. With an astounding one third of those errors caused serious injury to the patient. The study observed over 200 procedures done at the hospital and found that each one resulted or could have resulted in error. There was a substantial amount of errors they noticed which enlightened them to improve their system.

Since early 2000 when The Institute of Medicine had discovered multiple errors as being the lead cause of death killing almost 50,000 people per year, they decided they needed to make a change. They since has enforced new safety regulations on medicine to improve the safety of all patients. This includes electronic prescribing systems that will alert the doctor of a potential medical error. The only downside is different safety regulations on surgical medication than there are on regular meds.

It is standard procedure for nurses and pharmacist to double check medication before administering it to patients. However, in Operating rooms, life or death situations, everything can happen so fast that there are no safe regulations. Many errors involve improperly labeling drugs when they are drawn into a syringe. Many medications are administered throughout the course of an operation, from anesthesia to antibiotics, with most of the medications clear varying names slightly, it is easy to mistake/misuse. The study found an error is made in every 20 drug administrations. Longer procedures more than 4 hours long are more likely to have an error occur than those undergoing a shorter surgery. Under no circumstances should medical errors ever occur. Someone needs to be held liable and new sets of laws and safety need to be put in place for the future to protect everyone.

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Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities. 

Medical Malpractice