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Pharmacists in emergency rooms may reduce medication errors


Advancements in pharmaceutical drugs have revolutionized healthcare. By swallowing a pill or receiving an injection, many patients can lessen the severity of painful symptoms or even beat a medical condition altogether. As amazing as medicine has become, it may be hard for some to believe that it can be extremely dangerous, and even deadly, if not taken properly. In fact, more than 7,000 Americans die each year as a result of medication errors.

Though that figure may be scary, one hospital has taken a bold step in an effort to reduce medication mistakes. The hospital, located in Dallas, is utilizing pharmacists in the emergency room in order to reduce errors caused by bad handwriting, drug mix ups between medications with similar names, and confusion caused by dosing units. The 10 full-time pharmacists review each order before medication is dispensed and administered. Though the program appears to be working, not every hospital can afford to implement such increased personnel.

This means, unfortunately, that Oregon's patients will likely remain at risk of suffering from hospital negligence related to medication errors. Those who are harmed in such mishaps often endure pain and suffering related to their injuries and well as financial loss caused by medical expenses, long-term care, and lost wages. Being stuck in a situation like this can be overwhelming, leaving a victim feeling as if there is no one who can help them.

Luckily, a local attorney may be able to assist these victims. He or she might be able to help a victim file a medical malpractice lawsuit in hopes of recovering compensation. If money is awarded to a victim, then he or she may be able to able to obtain the best medical care possible, find financial stability, and focus on moving forward in life. Such a lawsuit might help hospitals realize that additional steps, like adding pharmacists, are necessary to keep patients safe.

Source: NPR, "Hospitals Put Pharmacists In The ER To Cut Medication Errors," Lauren Silverman, June 9, 2014

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