TOP NEW YORK HOSPITAL MALPRACTICE LAWYER URGES VICTIMS TO SEEK LEGAL ADVICE IMMEDIATELY
If you or someone you love has spent any time as a patient in a hospital ICU and unexpected problems arose that caused complications which compromised your, or your loved one’s health, recovery, or even led to their death, don’t necessarily expect your doctor, or any other hospital staff member, to be up front with you about what caused the problem, especially if the mistake was due to an error involving medication. A comprehensive study conducted by the John’s Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore found that patients and their families are rarely told when hospitals make mistakes giving medicines to patients.
The esteemed medical center gathered data from more than 550 hospitals in the U.S. that voluntarily reported making almost 850,000 errors involving medicine over a six-year period. The lead researcher on the project said ICUs accounted for more than approximately 56,000, nearly 7%, of all of the errors hospitals made when administering medicines to patients in their care. According to the John’s Hopkins report, the rest of the errors happened in non-ICU wards in the hospital.
Fortunately, the report, which was published in the journal Critical Care Medicine, noted that the vast majority of errors made in patient medicine management in hospitals (96%) resulted in little or no harm done to the patient. However, approximately 4% of errors involving medicine did end up causing serious harm to the patient in ICUs versus only about 2% of similar errors made in non-ICU hospital settings. However, almost every hospital whose data was included in the study reported that if a medicine mistake was made, it was significantly more likely to have happened to patients in ICUs, and that such an error would have caused more harm to a patient, given the severely weakened and fragile nature of the condition of ICU patients and the intensive nature of the treatment they receive.
“All hospital charts should contain detailed entries of the physician’s orders and the nurses compliance with such orders, noting the name of the medication, dosage, the time it was administered and other factors”, Jay Dankner, managing attorney of the New York Medical Malpractice firm of Dankner Milstein said. “These entries can often provide proof or corroboration of errors in the administration of medicines, and often can form the evidentiary basis to prove a cover-up or other attempt to hide the error”.
The report went on to add the fact that of those patients who died as a result of medicine error, 18 occurred in ICUs and 92 in non-ICU hospital departments. In both instances, according to the report, the most common error was failing to provide medication in a timely manner. Other errors cited most often by respondents were defective IV lines and the miscalculation of medication dosages.
In one surprising finding, a high percentage of hospitals in the study admitted to taking no action after errors were made. Further, according to the report, only about 30% of hospital staff were even made aware of the mistakes they made.
If you think you have been a victim of medical malpractice as a result of a medicine error made while you were a patient in a hospital, contact one of the lawyers at our firm to discuss your concerns. The consultation is free.