When a local resident feels ill after taking medication prescribed by their physician, a Chicago personal injury attorney is likely not the first call that they make. Many people are aware that medications have some side effects that must be dealt with as best as possible.
However, there is a clear difference between a side effect and an actual medication mistake that places the patient’s health in serious risk. In reality it is often difficult for more the non-medically trained to clearly understand when they are experiencing one over the other.
Unfortunately, the New York Times blog reported last week that actual medication errors were on the rise.
In the last few years the number of patients requiring hospital care because of incorrect medications, wrong dosage, and similar problems rose fifty percent-up to 1.9 million instances of error in 2008. This data was culled from a report issued by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Besides the potentially deadly physical toll, the errors also cost consumers and taxpayers more than $3.5 billion in additional healthcare and incidental expenses.
Individuals older than 65 who were victims of the errors were more likely to be hospitalized for the problem-this was likely the case because of their increased vulnerability and more frequent use of medication.
Our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Levin & Perconti believe focus should return to improving patient safety. With technology advances and awareness of the problem it is unacceptable that these medication mistakes are on the rise. Doctors, nurses, pharmacists and all other involved professionals must take extra steps to ensure that the drugs given to their patients actually improve their health, not cause them more problems.
Please be sure to contact a Chicago injury lawyer if your or someone that you know has ever experienced medication problem because of the negligence of a healthcare provider.
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