Surgery Medication Errors are Shockingly Common

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If you’d asked even the most jaded individual, it’s unlikely they would have guessed that medication errors during surgery are as common as they are. They might have expected that 10 percent of surgeries include a medication error. Perhaps they would have even guessed that twenty-five percent did. But it’s extremely unlikely that anyone would have guessed that nearly fifty percent of all surgeries have a medication error.

This troubling statistic comes courtesy of a study published in the journal Anesthesiology. General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts allowed researchers to track medication errors, hoping to begin a process of curtailing these incredibly dangerous events. Some doctors at General Hospital had long worried that medication errors were much more common than the public was led to believe. This study proved them right.

Over the course of the study, researchers determined:

  • Medication errors occurred in 124 of the 277 surgeries they tracked
  • Almost 80 percent of the medication errors were deemed preventable
  • Two out of every three medication errors were considered serious, with one out of every fifty being potentially life-threatening

The medical establishment has long maintained that proper safety protocols are in place and followed, but this clearly demonstrates that they are not. To have two percent of patients receiving a life-threatening medication error is completely unacceptable. To have nearly half of all surgeries have a medication error is beyond unacceptable. Too many patients are put at major risk by this level of reckless behavior. It is not unreasonable for patients to assume that hospitals are double or even triple-checking their medications to make sure they are right, particularly for vulnerable surgery patients.

If you or someone you love has suffered due to a medication error, you might not be so surprised to discover that such errors are incredibly common. Still, something must be done to reduce the rate at which these errors occur. Doctors and hospitals must be held responsible for their actions. Please contact an attorney who can help you hold the medical establishment responsible for these errors.