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Every year, about 1.3 million people are harmed in the US as a result of medication errors.

According to the National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention, medication error is any avoidable situation that may cause or contribute to improper drug use or patient injury while the medication is in the control of a medical professional, patient, or consumer. These events may be related to:

  • Professional practice
  • Healthcare goods
  • Procedures
  • Systems
  • Prescription
  • Order communication
  • Product labeling, packaging, and nomenclature
  • Compounding
  • Dispensing
  • Distribution
  • Administration
  • Education
  • Monitoring
  • Use

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) analyzes medication error reports that are released by drug manufacturers via MedWatch, the FDA's safety warning and undesirable event announcement service. The FDA also gathers information concerning medical errors from the Institute for Safe Medication Practices and US Pharmacopeia.

Common errors

Based on research conducted by the FDA between 1993 and 1998 regarding fatal medication errors, the most common error was "improper drug dosage," occurring in an astounding 41 percent of the cases. Prescription of the wrong medication and utilizing the wrong route to administer the drug each accounted for 16 percent of the errors. Just under 50 percent of these deaths occurred in people older than 60. The elderly are more susceptible to medication error due to the greater daily prescription intake than other age brackets.

Error prevention

When a physician issues you a prescription, be sure that they inform you of the name of the medication, the optimal dosage, and the purpose of the drug. Make certain that you follow the instructions for each drug that you are taking (e.g., dosage amount, storage requirements, etc.). If you are at a hospital, request the name and the effects of every drug administered to you. Notify your physician of any prescription or over-the-counter drugs, dietary supplements, and herbal remedies that you currently take whenever you receive a new prescription. This will help avoid any complications that may arise from a combination of drugs such as an allergic reaction. Don't hesitate to ask questions; whether the name of the drug is unrecognizable, if the instructions are confusing, or the medicine does not look familiar in comparison to something you took before, let your physician know immediately. Clearing up any suspicions or misconceptions is a free and simple way to guarantee you do not fal victim to medication error.

If you believe that you have fallen victim to medication error, you may qualify to be compensated for your losses. Find out whether you qualify by contacting a Florida medical malpractice lawyer now.

We are available to discuss your rights if you, a friend or loved one has been injured in an auto accident, or is the victim of medical malpractice. We also accept cases involving a slip & fall, wrongful death, product liability, business and real estate disputes.  Please call us today for a free consultation at 1-800-757-9805, email us at, or visit our website and complete our Free Evaluation form. 

Our Firm accepts and handles personal injury, medical malpractice and other legal matters in Pembroke Pines, Miramar, Davie, Cooper City , Ft. Lauderdale, Plantation, Sunrise, Coral Springs, Lauderhill, Weston, Southwest Ranches, Sunrise, Margate, Oakland Park, Hollywood, Lauderdale Lakes, Hallandale, Dania, Pembroke Park, Wilton Manors, West Palm Beach, Pompano Beach, Miami, Coral Gables, North Miami, Aventura, Sunny Isles, Bal Harbour, Hialeah, Miami Lakes

Martinez v. Right Away Medical Supply, Inc. – Broward County, FL

The Plaintiff’s mother in this case was stopped on a green light for an emergency vehicle, when she was rear-ended by Defendant’s truck. The Plaintiff (a 14 year old passenger) was so badly injured that she required three back fusion surgeries. The Defendant claimed that he had the green light and that Plaintiff’s mother made a sudden stop. The jury disagreed and awarded the Plaintiff $850,000.

This verdict demonstrates that even if you are injured as a passenger, you still have the right to claim injuries against the party that caused the accident.

*Neither the Arcia Law Firm nor Omar Arcia represented any of the parties to this action

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This publication is intended to educate the general public about personal injury, medical malpractice, insurance, and small business issues.  It is not intended to be legal advice.  Every case is different.  The information in this newsletter may be freely copied as long as the newsletter is copied in its entirety.

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