Medication errors are one of the most common forms of medical malpractice, and they can result in serious medical complications, harmful drug interactions and even wrongful death.
If you or a loved one has suffered due to medical malpractice, the attorneys at the Savage Law Firm are here to offer experienced advice and advocacy. To arrange a free initial consultation with an experienced Oregon medication error attorney, contact our firm at 503-222-0200 or 206-957-7272. Medication errors can be the result of negligence on the part of nurses, doctors, pharmacists and other medical professionals. Many medication errors could be avoided with proper training, communication and standardized medical procedures in place. Our attorneys have a proven record of success obtaining results for victims of medication errors and other forms of medical negligence. For a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced injury lawyers in Portland, call 503-222-0200; or in Seattle, call 206-957-7272. The firm also provides service in Washington state including Seattle, Tacoma, Renton, Redmond, King County and Bellevue. Orders for medications given prior to surgery or a procedure are considered one-time-only orders. You’ll receive verbal orders in the presence of a prescribing physician or other provider with prescriptive authority. You are likely to receive telephone orders when you update a provider about a change in a patient’s condition. Imagine you are supposed to receive 1.0 milligrams of a drug, and a barely visible decimal point causes the pharmacist to deliver 10 milligrams instead.
In the United States, at this time, there was also interest in reform of units and standards. Medication errors harm at least 1.5 million people every year, according to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. The term “medication error” describes a wide range of problems with administering medicine to nursing home patients. If the medication is administered through an IV or a feeding tube, the correct procedure for administering it is not carried out. Instructions on the medication itself (shake well, take with food, do not crush, etc.) are not followed. Just as there are many types of medication errors, there are also many ways a mistake can be made. A study in the American Journal of Geriatric Pharmacotherapy examined 15,037 medication error reports from 294 nursing homes. Older patients or those with cognitive impairments were twice as likely to experience a medication error as younger patients or those who could identify their own medications. A repeated error was twice as likely to cause harm to the patient as an error that was made only once. Over half of all medication errors in nursing homes are preventable, according to a recent ProPublica article. If your loved one has been harmed by a medication error or other form of negligence in a nursing home, you should consult a qualified Washington DC nursing home negligence lawyer as soon as possible. Quick reference guide to ISMP’s list of high-alert medications, documented drugs with look-alike-sound-alike risk, and error-prone abbreviations, symbols, and dose designations. Every year hundreds of thousands of children take a trip to the hospital because they have taken medications they have found in their house and are way too easy for them to get their hands on. Seat Check Saturday will give you the opportunity to get your car seat installed and inspected by trained technicians. You can also take a look at this car seat check list to make sure your seat is installed correctly.
Whether you have a child with special needs or not, chances are you have given him medication at some point. The study compared parents who used milliliter-only cups or syringes with parents who used teaspoon or tablespoons to describe how they measured their child’s medicine. In addition, many parents did not understand the correct amount of medicine to give their child and mixed up the measuring terms.
Another reason is that people use everyday kitchen spoons instead of medication measuring spoons which are specifically designed to give an accurate dose.
The study’s authors suggest that children’s liquid medications only be prescribed in milliliters to help eliminate dosing mistakes or confusion. Note:  This post is part of the weekly series Delays and disabilities – how to get help for your child.
Laundry pods are those prefilled pillows of super-concentrated laundry detergent designed to make your life nice and easy. These pods are sometimes pretty, looking a bit like candy, and are enticing to little folk. Many toddlers have swallowed the pods and gotten seriously ill (excessive vomiting, trouble breathing) requiring hospitalization.
Parents and caregivers, it is extremely important to keep this detergent well out of reach of children. If a child does chew on a pod, call the poison-control helpline immediately (800-222-1222).
My purse, or pocketbook, holds everything I need, from a hairbrush to my driver’s license, cash, credit cards, a few random crayons and scrap paper, and the medications I need to take. The temperature has dropped, snow is falling and we have bundled up the kids in winter wear making them look like the Pillsbury Dough Boy.


A bulky coat under a child seat harness can result in the harness being too loose to be effective in a crash. Lead is invisible to the naked eye and has no smell, so how can you tell if something is safe or not?
Kiddies often place toys and other objects, as well as their fingers that have touched these objects, in their mouth, which exposes them to lead paint or dust. The CDC has compiled important facts about lead in toys to keep your children safe this holiday season.  Go take a look before you shop or pull an old toy from the attic. During Child Passenger Safety Week (September 15-21, 2013) many communities will have certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians available to provide free, hands-on, car seat education and inspections. Has your little one ever wanted privacy, pushed the button on the doorknob and locked himself in the bathroom?
For more than 30 years, we have been helping victims of medical malpractice in Oregon and Washington recover compensation for their losses. Doctors must take into account a patient’s medical history, allergies and other factors when prescribing and administering medication. When hospitals and medical professionals do not make the effort to ensure the proper use of medicine, they can be held accountable for the injuries their patients suffer.
Our Oregon medication error attorneys represent clients in communities in both Oregon and Washington. Every order must include the patient’s name, date, name of the drug, dose, route, frequency of administration, any special instructions, and the signature of the prescribing person. You’ll see standing or routine orders for medications given on a regular basis until a patient is discharged or the order is otherwise cancelled. This is most likely in an emergency situation when it is more important to give the drug immediately than to take the time to write it down first. When taking an order over the phone, make sure you read it back to the prescribing person to ensure accuracy. They do not alter the physical truth of the equation, since they are physically equal to 1, and are dimensionless. Many of these cases occur in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, where the task of preparing medications for many patients at once often means that each patient’s medications are not carefully checked to ensure they are correct.
In any setting that involves prescription medications, a mistake may be made by a doctor who prescribes or orders a medication, or by pharmacy staff who misunderstand a prescription or who fill it with the wrong medication or the wrong dose, or by nursing staff who fail to administer it properly. The medication, dose to be given, schedule or method of administering the medication are written down incorrectly. Ensuring that medication is given correctly requires concentration, knowledge of both the medications and the patients, and attention to detail. If the nursing home staff does not have proper training for administering the medication, or if they do not have all the information they need to make sure each patient receives the correct medication at the right time, serious errors can easily result.
A medication dispensing time that occurs during a shift change, mealtime or when the nursing home is understaffed increases the risk of an error, because it imposes additional distractions and stress that can affect the staff’s ability to ensure medications are administered correctly.
If you’re present while medication is being administered, you can watch the process yourself. If you accompany your loved one to doctor’s appointments, make sure to review the medications with the doctor at each visit. We cannot accept returns on our videos "Building System Safeguards for the Safe Use of High-Alert Medications", "Patient Safety Requires a Team Effort", "Patients Play a Vital Role in Patient Safety", "Medical Leaders in Patient Safety", or any item that is not returned in its original condition, is damaged, or is missing parts. Often, old prescriptions are sitting around, forgotten, and these pose a risk to children who may find and ingest them. This effort, organized by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing expired, unused, or unwanted prescription drugs. Certified technicians will perform car seat checks and installations at sites throughout the country. A recent study published in Pediatrics revealed that many parents made mistakes when giving their child medication. The researchers found that parents who described measuring the medication in teaspoons or tablespoons were twice as likely to make a mistake in giving the correct dose. Again, the differences in the spoons can produce very different amounts of medicine given to your child. Use your smartphone or a notebook to record the medication, date, time and amount that you gave your child. Make sure the container they are in has a safety latch and that it is stored on an upper shelf outside the reach of curious tots. Whereas I thought I was quite clever to carry the crayons and paper, it didn’t occur to me that by doing so I was enticing my grandchild to delve into my bag. That’s great for keeping them toasty while running around outside, but it’s often not so safe when traveling in a car.
A too loose harness may lead to injury from severe jarring or even being tossed from the car during an accident. Tighten the harness until you can no longer pinch any of the harness webbing with your thumb and forefinger. You can then use his coat as a blanket, or tuck a baby blanket around him.  He’ll be warm and you’ll know that he’s good and safe. While new toys are a holiday tradition, parents should be aware of potential lead hazards associated with old and new toys, including toy jewelry.
It seems reasonable to think that there may be lead in old paint on an antique toy, but there is lead in some new toys imported from foreign countries, too.


Many times deaths and injuries can be prevented by proper use of car seats, boosters, and seat belts. The week concludes with National Seat Check Saturday on September 21, when certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians will be available at car seat events across the country to offer advice and instruction. Panic ensues because he can’t turn the knob to get out… It happens a lot more often than you think, especially, of course, when you’re visiting at someone else’s house. Many doorknobs come with small button-release bars that fit through a tiny hole on the outside of the doorknob. As-needed orders, called PRN orders, are for medications administered only when needed or requested.
You’ll see this type of order when a provider prescribes a new drug for a patient or one to address a specific problem. However, with computerized charting, physician-order entry programs allow providers with prescriptive authority to enter medication orders electronically. Repeat the order back to the prescribing person for accuracy; this is a Joint Commission requirement. When a nursing home makes notes in several places or transfers medication duties among staff members, transcription errors are more likely.
When staffers are frequently interrupted while preparing or giving out medication, errors are more likely. If the doctor orders a new medication, double-check with the nursing home to make sure the prescription was received correctly. There will be car seat inspection sites throughout the country with trained and certified technicians performing car seat checks and installations.
And then, just as you are getting the hang of it, they outgrow one seat and have to move on to another! It is very easy to forget when you gave your child a medication, especially if you are giving more than one medication at different times during the day. While on News Moms Need and click on “Help for your child” in the Categories menu on the right side to view all of the blog posts to date (just keep scrolling down). But, according to a study published in the American Academy of Pediatrics, 17,230 children exposed to laundry detergent pods were reported to poison-control centers nationwide between 2012 and 2013.
Remove any dangerous items and meds (including over-the-counter pain relievers), but if you need to keep some, try this. Straighten the paper clip (preferably a heavy duty one), insert it in the hole and push the release bar. When orders are handwritten, a nurse or, in some cases, a unit clerk transfers the order to the patient’s medication administration record (MAR). Once the patient is stable, transcribe the verbal order onto the appropriate form and make sure the prescriber signs it within 24 hours, or as your facility’s policy mandates.
They are also more likely to occur if staff members are frequently rotated through the position of administering medication. Of course, it is very important that your child travel in a car seat that is appropriate for her age, weight, and height and that it is installed in your car correctly. Parental fatigue, multitasking and stress can also cause you to forget.  In addition, a medication “log” is very important if more than one person is giving medicine to your child. Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, is now warning the public of this health hazard, especially for children 5 and younger. I get headaches and take some meds that could be very dangerous to babies if swallowed like the candy they look like.
Gary Smith, one of the study researchers and a pediatrician at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
And thin shish kebab skewers work pretty well, too, but I wouldn’t carry them around with you! It is your responsibility to check and initial all transcribed orders for your patients for accuracy and for legibility. Asking helps you determine whether the system is well-run, and it demonstrates to the nursing home that you take medication risks seriously. Carry a separate bag with crayons, paper, finger food, toys, a book or two… that your children or grandchildren can be safe with and delight in exploring. If your tot can wiggle around enough to slide down, kneel or stand up, you’re not using the straps properly. The Joint Commission has prepared a “do not use” list of abbreviations, while the Institute for Safe Medication Practices has prepared a list of error-prone abbreviations.
If a medication order seems incorrect, inappropriate, or incomplete, contact the person prescribing the medication before you administer it. And if you are, you want to make sure little feet can’t reach a table or other firm surface to push against. Fortunately, our little tike grabbed the bottle in my bag and shook it like a rattle rather than tried to open it.
I saw this in less than 30 seconds and substituted a toy for the pills, but it certainly got my attention.



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