The medical community recognizes nine distinct classifications for errors involving medication and ranks them in order from least to most harmful to patients.
At any given time, a person in New York might require a prescription or even over-the-counter medication. In some situations, more than one drug may be needed and may even include a combination of prescription and non-prescription medications. Supplements may also be included in medication prescribing by medical professionals.
Designed to help, drugs may be linked to new problems
While the use of different drugs is generally intended to help a problem, there are times when it may actually cause a problem. This may happen if an error is made. Medication errors may occur at many steps in the process from a prescription being written incorrectly to the pharmacist misreading a physician's handwriting to the drug being administered incorrectly and beyond.
A study by the Food and Drug Administration indicated that giving an incorrect dose of a drug, giving a patient the wrong drug or administering a drug in the wrong way are three of the most common types of errors.
Understanding how drug mistakes are classified can be important for New Yorkers who may be impacted by these potentially serious errors.
Classification of drug errors
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality explains that within the medical community, there is a tiered approach to classifying medication errors. The least serious type is labelled as a class A error and involves a situation in which no actual error occurred but in which an error might be able to occur. In a class B drug error , a mistake has happened but a patient was not affected in any way.
Starting with class C errors all the way through class I errors, patients have been impacted by mistakes. Class C mistakes reached patients but no injury was likely to have come from it. In a class D error, some action even in the form of monitoring may have been needed in order to prevent injury to the patient.
Temporary harm to a patient is associated with class E and F errors. In class F errors, that injury is linked to extended or new hospitalization for the patient. Class G mistakes are linked to the potential for permanent injury and with a class H error action is required to keep a person alive. Class I errors, the most serious, are associated with the potential to result in death.
Patient proactivity is urged
WebMD explains that patients should always be proactive in asking providers questions about medications and even keeping their own very detailed records about what drugs they take, for when, when and how often. It can also be helpful to identify a family member or other person to be aware of needed drugs in case a patient is unable to advocate for themself.
If an error does happen or is suspected, talking to an attorney is a recommended step for anyone in New York. This can provide important details about the laws regarding medical errors and how to be safe and seek compensation.
|$15 Million - Jury Award for Brain Injury|
|$10.5 Million - Injured Infant Brain Damage|
|$9 Million - Brain Injured Baby Settlement|
|$7.75 Million - Settlement Injury To A Child|
|$7.5 Million - Injured Construction Worker Settlement|
|$7.25 Million - Intersection Accident Settlement NYC|
|$5.5 Million - Bus Accident Award|
|$5.5 Million - Injured Child|
|$5.5 Million - Blinded Woman|
|$5.45 Million - Injured Child|
|$5.4 Million - Construction Burn Victim|
|$5.1 Million - Motorcycle Victim|
|$5 Million - Construction Worker Back Injury|
|$5 Million - Eye Surgery|
|$4.5 Million - Failure to Perform C-Section|
|$4.5 Million - Personal Injury Settlement|
|$4.4 Million - Failure to Diagnose Infection|
|$4.125 Million - Failure to Diagnose Quadriplegia|
|$4.0 Million - NYC Hospital Negligence Birth Injury|
|$3.8 Million - Electrician|
|$3.75 Million - Hospital Negligence Sepsis|
|$3.7 Million - Birth Injury Infant Stroke|
|$3.5 Million - Faulty Freight Elevator Fall|
|$3.4 Million - Surgical Error Bronxville Hospital|
|$3.28 Million - Eye Surgery Case|
|$3.15 Million - Settlement for a Brooklyn Laborer|
|$3.1 Million - Verdict Returned by NY Jury|
|$3.1 Million - Awarded by Brooklyn Jurors|
|$3 Million - Birth Injury Development Delays|
|$3 Million - Settlement Scaffold Injury Hudson Yard|
|$3 Million - Hot Water Burn Death|
|$2.6 Million - Surgical Error Premature Death|
|$2.5 Million - Construction Concrete Worker Settlement|
|$2.5 Million - Hospital Malpractice Toddler Hemiplegia|
|$2.4 Million - Failure to Diagnose Lead to Paralysis|
|$2.3 Million - Birth Injury Brain Damage|
|$2.1 Million - Hospital Negligence Birth Injury|
|$2.1 Million - Failure to Diagnose Stroke|
|$2.1 Million - Surgical Error Paraplegic|
|$2.1 Million - Injured Worker|
|$2 Million - Hospital Negligence Permanent Injury|
|$2 Million - Malpractice Settlement Delay in Delivery|
|$2 Million - Verdict against Hospital|
|$1.8 Million - Failure to Diagnose Tumor|
|$1.75 Million - Diagnosing Prostate Cancer|
|$1.5 Million - Prostate Procedure Malpractice|
|$1.5 Million - Delay in Treatment - Nerve Damage|
|$1.4 Million dollar settlement in Action Over Explosion|