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Cardiovascular drug errors at hospitals

Hospitals use many medications in their patient care. Errors related to such drugs are a major patient safety risk. Examples of such mistakes include giving a patient the wrong dose, the wrong drug, or a harmful mix of medications.

Such errors can happen with any type of drug used at hospitals. However, some drugs are more commonly involved in medication errors than others. A recent study suggests that cardiovascular drugs may hold the top spot when it comes to hospital medication errors.

The study looked at medication errors reported by nurses at five hospitals located in the southwest United States. The errors were reported between November 2011 and July 2014.

The study found that for all units of the hospitals except pediatrics, cardiovascular drugs were involved in more of the reported medication mistakes than any other drug class. This drug class was found to be involved in about a quarter of the reported errors overall and about 15 percent of the reported errors that caused harm to patients.

While there are some limitations to this study because of its relatively limited geographic scope, one wonders why cardiovascular drugs had such a high level of involvement in medication errors in the study. One further wonders how common errors involving these types of drugs are at Arizona hospitals.

Hospitals have a responsibility to act properly in all aspects of patient care, including the administration of medications. When hospitals and their staff fall short in this responsibility, patients can suffer greatly. When this happens in regards to a cardiovascular drug or any other medication, holding the hospital accountable for its actions can be of great importance. Skilled malpractice lawyers can assist victims of medication errors at hospitals with such efforts.

Source: Cardiovascular Business, "Medication errors more common with cardiovascular drugs than other drug classes," Tim Casey, Jan. 27, 2017

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