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Medication errors caused by nurses are common

Going to the doctor should be at least a yearly event for Pennsylvania residents. Whether it is for your yearly checkup, because you are feeling ill or for ongoing treatment, patients continually visit their medical professionals, whom they rely on and trust. While nurses and doctors are educated and trained to properly treat and care for patients, some mistakes can occur during their encounters with patients. And when it comes to medication errors occurring, nurses are frequently to blame.

According to recent research, the most common drug error made by registered nurses dealt with cardiovascular drugs. These medication errors accounted for 24.7 percent of preventable medical errors. In the hospital setting, it was found that 11.3 percent of medication errors made were associated with anticoagulants.

The setting in which medication errors most frequently occurred was medical-surgical units. This amounted to 35 percent, and was followed by the intensive care unit at 14.7 percent, and intermediate care at 13.3 percent.

While researchers found that 65 percent of medication errors reached the patient without causing any harm to them, 10 percent of medical errors that reached patients did result in harm. Approximately 14 percent of medication errors occurring in this study were detected prior to reaching the patient.

While steps and processes are put in place to prevent or reduce medication errors, these medical errors still do occur. Whether a patient gets the wrong medication or the wrong dose, a negligent medical professional could be the cause of serious injuries to a patient.

Following a medication error, an injured patient should understand that there are recourses available. A medical malpractice claim could allow an injured patient to hold a negligent party liable and help the patient recover compensation to cover medical bills and other damages.

Source: Medscape.com, "RN Med Errors Common, Especially in Medical-Surgical Units, ICUs," Diedtra Henderson, Dec. 28, 2016

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