Medication Errors


The healthcare profession offers many exceptional doctors who perform to a high standard of patient care. But doctors are people, and people make mistakes. Sometimes, the wrong medication or wrong dosage is prescribed.

According to the National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention, a medication error is “any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the medication is in the control of the health care professional, patient, or consumer.”

Medication errors can happen because of an incorrect diagnosis, physician negligence, or errors on the part of hospital staff or pharmacy, including:

• Poor communication
• Misinterpreted handwriting
• Drug name confusion
• Lack of employee knowledge
• Patient not understanding the drug’s directions

If you or a loved one has been victimized by a medication error, you need a medical malpractice attorney. In Baltimore, Maryland and surrounding areas, people turn to The Yost Legal Group for compassionate and knowledgeable assistance.

According to the Food and Drug Administration,  20,000 reports of medication errors have been filed since 1992. The actual number is likely much higher. Typical errors reported include:

• A physician ordered a 260-milligram preparation of Taxol for a patient, but the pharmacist prepared 260 milligrams of Taxotere instead. Both are chemotherapy drugs used for different types of cancer and with different recommended doses. The patient died several days later, though the death couldn’t be linked to the error because the patient was already severely ill.

• An elderly patient with rheumatoid arthritis died after receiving an overdose of methotrexate–a 10-milligram daily dose of the drug rather than the intended 10-milligram weekly dose. Some dosing mix-ups have occurred because daily dosing of methotrexate is typically used to treat people with cancer, while low weekly doses of the drug have been prescribed for other conditions, such as arthritis, asthma, and inflammatory bowel disease.

• One patient died because 20 units of insulin was abbreviated as “20 U,” but the “U” was mistaken for a “zero.” As a result, a dose of 200 units of insulin was accidentally injected.

• A patient developed a fatal hemorrhage when given another patient’s prescription for the blood thinner Warfarin.

Hospitals and doctor’s offices are beehives of activity. It is understandable that human error might lead to mistakes in correctly following orders for prescribing the right medications or the correct dosage of a medication. For the victims of medication errors, however, understanding how it happened is not as important as holding the responsible party liable, getting justice, and obtaining due compensation under the law.

The Yost Legal Group works closely with a team of expert medical professionals to investigate claims of medication errors. We fight for the rights of our clients to ensure they get the full compensation and justice they deserve.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a medication error, please contact The Yost Legal Group to schedule a free, private consultation.