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Overlooked factors that could lead to a medical error

Sep 4, 2018 | Medication Errors

Patients in New York and throughout the country could be exposed to a wide range of medication errors. These mistakes could result in a worsened condition or other negative consequences. However, not all types of errors are accounted for unless there is an adverse event. For instance, many medical offices and hospitals use electronic health records. One problem that can occur is ordering medication for the wrong person.

While it may be possible to retract an order before the wrong patient gets a particular medication, the original error may not be reported. Errors generally occur when an individual is interrupted while ordering or when there are multiple patient records called up at the same time. Medical professionals have mentioned that including a patient’s photo on his or her chart or using RFID technology could reduce this type of error from happening.

Nurses will sometimes dilute the medication that a patient receives through an IV. However, this can be dangerous as it puts the patient at risk for infection or contamination. In some cases, medications are diluted even though doses have been administered based on the patient’s specific needs. Another common error is confusing the available concentration of a medication as the patient’s dose. This may result in a patient receiving more of a medication that he or she needs.

If a patient is given the wrong drug, it could constitute negligence on the part of a medical professional. This may make it possible for an individual to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit. In some cases, multiple parties may be held financially responsible for the mistake.