How Nurses Can Defend Patients from Hospital Medication Mistakes
You probably expected to feel a little under the weather during your recent recovery at the hospital. But, what you may not have expected is a pharmaceutical error that kept you off your feet for several more days than your condition required—and the worst part is, your caregiver was responsible.
Nurses are perhaps the best defense against medication errors in hospitals: they are uniquely positioned to detect and correct errors before the patient is harmed. However, nurses are just as likely to make mistakes as doctors or pharmacists, and strict regulations must be followed to avoid a serious pharmaceutical injury.
The American Society of Hospital Pharmacists recommends that before giving any medication, nurses:
Should be familiar with medication ordering and processing particular to the unit or facility
Should evaluate all patients’ medications for desirable outcomes, medication duplications and possible drug interactions
Should know how to operate any medication devices, such as insulin pumps, before using
Should verify all drug orders before administering medication using the Five Rights
Should check all drugs for integrity, including appearance quality and expiration dates
Should observe patients for ill-effects after dosage
Should administer all drug dosages at the appropriate times
Should not remove a medication from its package until just before administration
Should never “borrow” a medication from one patient to give to another
Should always check a medication dosage with a second individual (nurse or pharmacist) before administering
Ask questions or get verification when a problem with the medication order is detected
As board-certified pharmacy error attorneys, we often see victims of medication mistakes afraid to pursue a case against the hospital. They do not have the strength to fight a court battle against powerful lawyers, and feel that hiring a lawyer will be one more bill they will have to pay.
The attorneys at Kennedy Hodges have helped countless victims of drug errors get justice and compensation for their injuries. To learn how we can help you, call our offices today at 888-526-7616 for a free consultation. For more free information, click the link above for a complimentary copy of our book, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.
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