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Errors Involving Chemotherapy Medications Common at Outpatient Cancer Treatment Centers

According to a new study supported in part by the federal government, 7 percent of adults and 19 percent of children taking chemotherapy drugs in outpatient clinics or at home were given the wrong dose or experienced other mistakes involving their medications.

Of the 7 percent of medication errors involving adults, 55 had the potential to harm the patient and 11 did cause harm.  The errors included administration of incorrect medication doses due to confusion over conflicting orders - one written at the time of diagnosis and the other on the day of administration.  Some consequences of these errors included patients being over-hydrated prior to administration of chemotherapy and complaints of abdominal pain in patients taking narcotics without treatment for constipation.

About 40 percent of the 22 medication errors in children had the potential to cause harm and four children were harmed. Examples of pediatric errors included giving the wrong amount or the wrong number of times a day for home medicines because of confusion about instructions.

The lawyers at Berger & Lagnese specialize in medical malpractice cases.  If you believe you received poor medical treatment, you should contact Berger & Lagnese for a free consultation.