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Medication errors are on the rise. Injuryboard Attorney Thomas J, Methvin summarizes a recent report by a national medical advisory organization in his recent blog post:

The Institute of Medicine, the nation’s most prestigious medical advisory organization, released a report, “Preventing Medication Errors,” on July 20th that revealed the magnitude of the problem. It’s estimated that as many as 7,000 persons die annually due to medication errors. Drug errors are so widespread that hospital patients should expect to suffer one every day they remain hospitalized, according to the report.

Like attorney Methvin, despite handling hundreds of medical malpractice cases for our clients, I am simply shocked by the sheer magnitude of the problem. Clearly in a time when the public perception is that doctors and hospitals need liability relief, the quality of care seems to be diminishing to frightening levels.

The majority of errors leading to death, according to a study published in The American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy article by Jerry Phillips, Associate Director, Office of Drug Safety, were improper dosing (40%), the use of the wrong drug (16%) and the wrong route of administration (9.5%). Performance, lack of education and communication errors were the underlying cause of most negligent medication mistakes.

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