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Top 10 Medication Mistakes of 2019

Nurse giving drugs

Institute for Safe Medication Practices Releases Top 10 Medication Mistakes of 2019

About one in 5 Americans will experience a medical error in their lifetime. And medication and prescription drug mistakes are some of the most common causes behind those errors, according to a new report published by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP).

Included with the research was a list of the top 10 most persistent medication errors and hazards ISMP researched and uncovered in 2019.

  1. Selecting the wrong medication after entering the first few letters of the drug name
  2. Daily instead of weekly oral methotrexate for non-oncologic conditions
  3. Errors and hazards due to look-alike labeling of manufacturers’ products
  4. Misheard drug orders/recommendations during verbal/telephone communication
  5. Unsafe “overrides” with automated dispensing cabinets
  6. Unsafe practices associated with adult IV push medications
  7. Wrong route (intraspinal injection) errors with tranexamic acid
  8. Unsafe labeling of prefilled syringes and infusions by 503b compounders
  9. Unsafe use of syringes for vinca alkaloids
  10. 1,000-fold overdoses with zinc

The full list with examples and further support appears in the January 16 issue of the ISMP Medication Safety Alert Acute Care newsletter.

Are Computer Screens and Tablet Technology to Blame?

So many of the mistakes listed were related to an upswing in providers who selected the wrong medication for patients on their computer screens or tablets, possibly due to being hurried or demanded in other patient care areas, according to ISMP. The researchers also noted that the mistakes happen when physicians and other providers select the wrong medication after searching or entering the drug name into their technology screens. When just a few letters of a drug name appear, other drug names may look similar or be of different strength and then wrongfully prescribed or administered to the patient.

“This is a problem that has increased in frequency with the upswing in technology use. In fact, wrong selection errors may now rival or exceed those made with handwritten orders,” the institute said.

Most medication, prescription drug, and adverse drug events are only frequently reported when a patient becomes seriously harmed. That in itself is a clustered healthcare problem that minimizes the need for providers to be feel accountable for unsafe practices.

Sadly, medication-related injuries and medical malpractice incidences happen regularly, and not every instance will result in such a lawsuit. A doctor or health care professional must be proven negligent in prescribing medication or an incorrect dosage to hold a claim viable. This can be a complicated process that will require assistance from a knowledgeable and experienced medical malpractice attorney.

Patient Injury Attorneys for Those Harmed by Medication Errors

When a medication mistake leads to a serious injury or death, patients and families can be left devastated. They may be eligible for compensation, including medical costs associated with the injury as well as punitive damages. If you suffered an injury due to a drug mistake or negligent practices of a doctor, request a free consultation with a Levin & Perconti attorney by calling (312) 332-2872.