No Mistake: Medical Errors Can Be Deadly Serious
- FDA Report
Die Because of Drug Errors
errors are one of the Nation's leading causes of death and injury. A
recent report by the Institute of Medicine estimates that as many as
44,000 to 98,000 people die in U.S. hospitals each year as the result
of medical errors - more
than from vehicle accidents, breast cancer, or AIDS.
What is the
definition of a medication error?
The National Coordinating Council for Medication Error and Prevention
preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication
use or patient harm, while the medication is in the control of the
health care professional, patient, or consumer. Such events may be
related to professional practice, health care products, procedures,
and systems including: prescribing; order communication; product
labeling, packaging and nomenclature; compounding; dispensing;
distribution; administration; education; monitoring; and use”.
Report by Health &
Human Services on Medication Errors
• 20 Tips to Avoid Medical
Links to Information
List of High Alert Medications
CDER on Medication Errors
Drug Products Associated with Medication Errors
Healthfinder.gov page on information and links on Medication
for Safe Medication Practices
FDA – What you should know about using drug products
News on Medical & Drug Errors
page to a friend!
FDA Sets New Drug Information Format to Reduce
Jan. 19, 2006 - The U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) yesterday unveiled a major revision to the format
of prescription drug information, commonly called the package insert, to
give healthcare professionals clear and concise prescribing information.
The FDA said it is an effort to manage the risks of medication use and
reduce medical errors.
System Needed to Prevent Medical Errors of Problem
One-third of physicians during career will have
impairment affecting performance
Jan. 18, 2006 - Asserting that "physician
performance failures are not rare and pose substantial threats to
patient welfare and safety," experts in medical error are calling on
state medical boards and healthcare organizations to institute a formal
monitoring and prevention system for catching "problem doctors" before
they do further harm.
New Online Brochure Hopes to Get Patients More Involved in
March 11, 2005 – As studies continue to
point out the high rate of medical errors and their devastating
affect on millions of citizens, many groups are making an effort
to get patients more involved in protecting themselves. There is
a new patient safety check list being made available on line by
the New Jersey Hospital Association’s Quality Institute.
Campaign to Stop Deadly Medication Errors
Spreads Outside Hospitals
New brochure on things you can do to prevent
27, 2005 – More than 7,000 patients die each year in hospitals due
to medication errors. A new effort is being launched today to spread
the word about the deadly results of medication errors outside of
just hospitals. The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare
Organizations, which earlier started a national campaign urging
Americans to "Speak Up" to avoid medication mistakes, is sending to
the nation's Fortune 1000 companies copies of their latest brochure
and poster "Things You Can Do to Prevent Medication Mistakes."
Medical Errors Hurt Real People
Jan. 17, 2004 - Linda McDougal awoke from her double
mastectomy to hear her surgeon tell her, "You don't have
cancer." Her first thought was, what a relief. And
then he said, "You never had cancer." Two pathologists
had switched her biopsy results with another woman's -
which means both Linda McDougal's breasts had been
more, hear her story...
Nearly Half Of All Consumers Worry About The
Safety Of Their Health Care
One in Three People Say They Or A Family Member
Have Experienced A Medical Error; One in Five Say It Was “Serious”
Of Those Reporting Medical Errors with Serious
Consequences, One in Seven Report Filing Malpractice Lawsuits
Nov. 17, 2004 – Five years after a groundbreaking
Institute of Medicine report focused attention on medical errors in
hospitals, Americans say that they do not believe that the nation’s
quality of care has improved. Four in 10 (40%) people say the quality of
health care has gotten worse in the past five years, while one in six
(17%) say the quality of care has gotten better and nearly four in 10
(38%) say it has stayed the same, according to a new survey by the Henry
J. Kaiser Family Foundation, the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and
Quality (AHRQ) and the Harvard School of Public Health.
Alert: Thousands Undergo Surgery Partially Awake
Better understanding by health professionals can reduce risk
Oct. 6, 2004 - Tens of thousands of patients undergoing surgery each
year experience the helplessness of being partially awake while
under general anesthesia during surgery, but being unable to
communicate their distress to caregivers. Better understanding among
health care professionals of this frightening phenomenon could
reduce the risk of these events and assure appropriate support for
patients when they do occur, according to an Alert issued today by
the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.
When doctors fight
lawyers: Patient's view
My lasting pain and suffering mean nothing to legislators
Dallas Morning News,
Sunday, August 22,
I was 34 years old, I was diagnosed with small cell neuroendocrine
carcinoma, a fatal form of cancer. My doctors told me I was going to
die very soon. I was forced to say goodbye to my friends and family
and tell my two young boys that I was not going to be there to watch
them grow up. I drafted a will and tried to accept my fate.
Medical Errors Reported by 45% of Specialists
37% Caused Serious Harm,
Errors Probably Under-Reported
Aug. 3, 2004
- Otolaryngologist Dr. David Roberson has first-hand experience with
medical errors. He remembers one near-miss in a patient about to
receive a cochlear implant – and says it typifies the kinds of
mistakes he and his colleagues have turned up in a national survey.
FDA Working to Prevent
Drug Interaction Problems
2004 - Mixing two drugs together could make one of the drugs
ineffective. The combination also could increase a drug's effect,
and be harmful. The result might be mild symptoms such as nausea,
stomach upset, or headache, or more serious symptoms such as a
dramatic drop in blood pressure, irregular heart beat, or damage to
the liver-the primary way that drugs pass through the human body.
This article tells more about what the FDA is doing to prevent these
New Requirements for Bar
Codes on Drugs and Blood to Reduce Risks of Medication Errors
Feb. 25, 2004 - HHS Secretary Tommy G.
Thompson today announced that the Food and Drug Administration is
issuing a final rule requiring bar codes on the labels of thousands
of human drugs and biological products. The measure will help
protect patients from preventable medication errors and reduce the
cost of health care and represents a major step forward in the
department’s efforts to harness information technology to promote
higher quality care.
British Lawyer Complains
About Criminal Prosecution for Medical Errors
Nov. 14, 2003 - Using the criminal
justice system to punish doctors who make mistakes is a growing
trend in Great Britian and is questionable, according to a barrister
in this week's British Medical Journal.
Special Report from the FDA
Errors Cause Thousands of Needless Deaths
May 16, 2003 - Since 1992, the Food
and Drug Administration has received about 20,000 reports of
medication errors. These are voluntary reports, so the number of
medication errors that actually occur is thought to be much higher.
There is no "typical" medication error, and health professionals,
patients, and their families are all involved. This report from the
FDA Consumer Magazine has advice on protecting yourself and your
Announces Initiative to Heighten Battle Against Counterfeit Drugs
July 16, 2003 - Commissioner of Food and
Drugs Mark B. McClellan, M.D., Ph.D., today announced a major new
initiative to more aggressively protect American consumers from
drugs that have been counterfeited. The new initiative includes
creating an internal task force to explore the use of modern
technologies and other measures such as stronger enforcement that
will make it more difficult for counterfeit drugs to get distributed
with - or deliberately substituted for -- safe and effective drugs.
Click to story...
11 Dangerous Drugs
AARP Identifies Drugs
Dangerous for Older Americans
August of 2002, AARP published on the Web a report written by
Christopher J. Gearon that identified 11 drugs that were
particularly dangerous for older people.
Warning of Dispensing Error
Using Serzone (nefazodone)
This is a letter
from the manufacturer to the FDA -
Do Doctors Sometimes Fail Their
Heart Failure Patients?
make you feel better, but do you live longer? New study seeks