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Medication errors take place in up to half of surgeries

When you go to the hospital for a surgery or seek treatment from a health care professional, the last thing you expect is to suffer from a medication error. Unfortunately, these errors do take place and can result in injuries that you may have to live with for a long time. Your attorney can help you get compensation, but that won't fix what has happened to you. The sad truth is that there are many more medication errors than necessary taking place in the world of medicine.

A disturbing study has suggested that there are medication errors in over half of the surgeries that take place in the United States. Studying over 275 surgeries at Massachusetts General Hospital, the study was able to show the incidence of errors that took place.

What's shocking is that in the 3,671 medication administrations, almost one out of every two was erroneous. That could mean that the drugs were given in too high a dose or were not given correctly. The study has also shown that over one in 20 perioperative medications given resulted in either an adverse drug event or medication error.

Medication errors are usually preventable, which is another concern. The study discovered that around 80 percent of medication errors could have been prevented. Of those errors, 66 percent had the potential to cause patients an adverse event, while another 33 percent did lead to an adverse drug event that affected a patient.

Fewer than 2 percent of the adverse events recorded in the study were life threatening, but that doesn't mean that other events don't matter. Any mistake a medical provider makes puts a patient at risk -- even if that risk is small.

Source: Forbes, "Disturbing New Study Finds Medication Errors In Half Of All Surgeries," Robert J. Szczerba, Oct. 27, 2015

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