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Articles Tagged with medication error

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pregnant.jpgTo prescribe or recommend certain types of pain medicine to a pregnant woman can be medical malpractice that can result in miscarriage, birth defects or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

The FDA looked at the most recent research studies published in the medical literature on this subject and found that three types of pain medicines used during pregnancy had the following potential health risks:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can lead to miscarriage during the first half of the pregnancy
  • Opioids taken during the first trimester of pregnancy can lead to birth defects of the brain, spine or spinal cord of the baby
  • Acetaminophen taken at anytime during the pregnancy increases the risk of having a child suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Women who are in pain during their pregnancy should always talk to their doctor and carefully weight the risks and benefits before taking over the counter or prescription pain medicine.

The complete FDA Safety Announcement and more informations on the various studies can be found here

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medication%20error.jpgMedication error in psychiatric practice can be medical malpractice. In a recent study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and funds from the Recovery Act, researchers found that patients between the age of 15 and 40 years old who suffered a first-episode psychosis were not prescribed a medication treatment complying with the recommended guidelines for their condition. According to the guidelines, patients with a first episode of psychosis should be treated differently than those with recurrent episodes.

Researchers are calling for more prescriber education after they studied 404 individuals suffering from an initial schizophrenia episode and found that 159 of them were not prescribed an appropriate treatment. Among these 159 people, 8.8 percent were prescribed higher-than-recommended doses of antipsychotics; 23.3 percent were prescribed more than one antipsychotic; 36.5 percent were prescribed an antipsychotic and an antidepressant without a clear need for the antidepressant; 10.1 percent were prescribed psychotropic medications without an antipsychotic medication; and 1.2 percent were prescribed stimulants. In addition, 32.1 percent were prescribed olanzapine, a medication not recommended for first-episode patients. Some of the 159 fell into multiple categories.

Read more in the press release of the National Institutes of Health

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Many adverse drug events are preventable and constitute Medical Malpractice. An adverse drug event occurs when a patient suffers injury resulting from medication use. Adverse drug events are the results of medication errors or of known side effects that may happen even if the medication is taken correctly.

According to a recent report from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) and led by Audrey J. Weiss, Ph.D. and Anne Elixhauser, Ph.D. , 380,000 to 450,000 hospitalized patients suffer preventable adverse drug events every year.

According to the most recent statistics, in 2011, the most common causes of ADE during hospital stays were Steroids, Antibiotics, Opiates, Narcotics and Anticoagulants with 8 out of 1000 adults over 65 experiencing one of them while hospitalized.