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Philadelphia, PA 19103
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Medication Errors or Mistakes

At the Law Offices of Judy Greenwood, P.C., we represent victims who have been injured as a result of medical malpractice, including injuries arising from medication and pharmaceutical errors and mistakes. Because these cases are often complex, we have a doctor/lawyer available to review the facts of your case, and to provide the medical insight necessary to determine if there was negligence or substandard care.

The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (a non-profit, independent organization) recently concluded that medication errors harm at least 1.5 million patients annually, at a cost of at least $3.5 billion annually in additional medical expenses to try to repair the harm caused by these hospital errors. These figures do not include emotional loss and physical pain, nor do they include the wage losses or other additional health costs associated with these serious mistakes.

The Institute reported that there were 400,000 preventable drug related hospital injuries annually, and twice as many at long term care facilities. It reports another 530,000 injuries among senior citizens at out-patient clinics, and believes these statistics understate the scope of the problem.

Medication errors largely are preventable because so many are caused by communication errorsB illegible handwriting causing mistakes identifying the medicine, the quantity prescribed, or the administration rate, and verbal misstatements of the name of a drug or a pharmacist incorrectly hearing what was ordered or requested.

With electronic prescriptions and bar code scanning devices, many medical professionals are optimistic that the majority of these communication errors, as well as others, will be eliminated. These types of technology will help to avoid handwriting errors, reduce misunderstandings regarding the identification of the medicine, and will allow physicians and nurses to be notified promptly about patient allergies and drug interaction concerns. Separate efforts to standardize the naming of medicines to eliminate similarly sounding names, if successful, will help.

Yet even with the assistance of technology, human error, such as programming mistakes in the use of patient controlled analgesia (pain killers) pumps (PCA devices) will continue to occur. When it does, there can be serious consequences. We have successfully handled cases involving medication errors.

The Law Offices of Judy Greenwood, P.C., has successfully represented patients who were injured because of a medication error or mistake. If you believe you have such a case, please call (215) 557-7500, or click here to contact us, to arrange a free consultation. Our attorneys will review what happened, consult with appropriate medical experts, and let you know what we think.

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