Several years ago we represented a young man who had received Phenegen via the wrong route. The medication error resulted in brain damage. At trial the hospital claimed it had a very low rate of medication errors. The judge ruled that opened the door and ordered the hospital to produce all reports of medication errors for the last several years. We were suprised there weren’t more reports, but now realize many of thise mix-ups don’t get reported.
Dr. Charles Homer of the National Initiative for Children’s Health-Care Quality has found that simply relying on hospital staffers to report such problems was not accurate. His new monitoring method lists 15 triggers on young patient’s charts that suggest possible drug related harm. The study found an alarming rate of medication errors occurred with 1 in 15 patients.
This new finding is consistient with the findings by the National Institute of Health which found that preventable adverse events exceed the number attributable to the 8th leading cause of death nationwide. The study found that deaths due to preventable adverse events exceed the deaths attributable to motor vehicle accidents (43,458), breast cancer (42,297) or AIDS (16,516).