Malpractice Lawyers in Maryland: Understanding Adverse Drug Events

An adverse drug event (ADE) is a preventable medical error occurring during the medication process. A 2006 study by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) found between 380,000 and 450,000 adverse drug events occur each year. The reporting committee considered both these figures underestimates.

A sizable number of malpractice cases concerning medication error are filed each year. In my practice, I find medication errors particularly tragic because they are so preventable. Steps in the medication process include:

  • Understanding patient medication history
  • Prescription of proper drug
  • Transcribing the prescription
  • Filling the prescription as prescribed
  • Administering medication properly
  • Monitor medication process and treatment

Common medication errors include:

  • Missed, duplicate or wrong dose
  • Dispensing error
  • Failure to monitor for toxicity or side affects
  • Wrong medication prescribed or administered
  • Drug-to-drug interaction
  • Programming or technical equipment failure

The IOM suggests ADEs might be reduced through improved drug labeling, increased use of information technologies and carefully involving the patient or patient advocate in the medication process. The IOM also suggests concerted efforts to provide standardized, fully accessible medication information at pharmacies, on help lines and over the Internet.

No one expects to feel worse after receiving medical care. Contact your physician right away if it happens to you. And contact one of our skilled malpractice lawyers in Maryland at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, P.A. if you need help pursuing the fair compensation you deserve after an adverse drug event caused by improper dispensing of medication by a physician, nurse, pharmacist or medical facility.