Medication Errors on the Rise in Hospitals and Pharmacies

KTLA of Los Angeles reported today that medication errors are on the rise in hospitals and pharmacies in the United States. According to the news report 1.5 million Americans are injured or killed each year due to a medication error.
Later this week the Institute of Medicine is preparing to publish a report on information technology, electronic health records, and patient safety.
The Candadian Broadcasting Corporation has just reported this afternoon that two drugs with similar names have been involved in medication errors.
“Since January, a total of five Canadian cases involving drug name mix-ups between Pradax and Plavix have been reported, including one patient who had non-serious bleeding after a medical procedure.
There have also been two reports of concerns raised by health care professionals about potential for confusion because the names of the two drugs are similar.
Receiving Pradax instead of Plavix or vice versa may result in harm, including increased risk of bleeding, stroke, heart attack or blood clots, Health Canada said.”
While none of this is good news, at least it’s being reported so that health officials can take steps to correct the errors.