Medication Errors Are a Danger That Should Not Be Ignored
According to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, poisoning (including drug overdose) was the most lethal type of injury between 2009 and 2011, with 1,891 New Yorkers dying after accidently being poisoned. While drug overdoses account for a significant number of poisonings, there is a less well-known poisoning problem that kills New Yorkers. Medication errors, including those made by doctors, nurses and pharmacists, are responsible for many injuries and deaths.
No one knows for sure how many people are killed by mistakes related to medication. While the Food and Drug Administration estimates that there are about 1.3 million injuries of this type nationally each year, other sources indicate that the real number could be much higher, with many cases resulting in fatalities. Some of the most common types of medication errors include:
- Overdose. When a doctor prescribes too much medication, or when a nurse or caretaker administers too much of a drug, the patient can suffer poisoning and even death.
- Underdose. When too small of a dose is administered, a medication may have no effect, often resulting in the continuation or worsening of illness and symptoms.
- Wrong medication. Prescribing or administering the wrong drug has the dual effect of leaving the illness untreated while exposing patients to the risk of side effects or drug interactions.
- Miscommunication. Doctors make mistakes writing prescriptions, nurses and pharmacists make mistakes when reading them, and errors from other workers can occur during transcription and processing. These mistakes can lead to overdose, underdose or the administration of the wrong medication.
If a loved one has been killed due to the actions of a doctor or medical professional, you may be able to recover compensation through a wrongful death action in a New York court.