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$68 MillionLargest Jury Verdict in Fresno County history for failure to comply with hospital standards for patient safety, leaving elderly man in permanent coma. Jury also awarded punitive damages.
$5.5 MillionSettlement for failure to diagnose acute blood loss after cancer surgery resulting in brain damage to physician
$7 MillionPlus Settlement: Negligent performance of intubation post-operatively, resulting in severe brain damage to minor child.
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$22 MillionRobyn Frankel vs. Palo Alto Medical Foundation GroupJury verdict for paralysis caused to patient after an unnecessary procedure.
$4.25 MillionSettlement for failure to quickly respond to a minor plaintiff’s hyperthermia after surgery resulting in catastrophic injuries including brain damage
$4 MillionSettlement for failure to diagnose fetal distress resulting in minor plaintiff suffering from severe static encephalopathy
$5.5 MillionSettlement for failure to diagnose and treat kernicterus resulting in severe brain damage of child

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    7 percent of medication errors are attributed to blood thinners

    Medication errors sometimes lead to serious conditions and even death here in California. Medical News Today reported that a recent study published in Annals of Pharmacotherapy states that about 7 percent of medication errors that impact hospitalized patients involve blood thinners. These errors involving blood thinners typically occur when hospital staff lacks knowledge of the patient’s condition or current medications.

    Blood thinners are generally prescribed to reduce the risk in patients of heart attack or stroke. Some blood thinners lengthen the time it takes for blood clots to form while others prevent platelets from grouping together to form a blood clot.

    In some cases, patients on blood thinners have been prescribed other medications that can cause adverse reactions. When staff has poor knowledge of a patient’s anticoagulant regimen and care requirements, there is an increased risk for medication error and negative patient outcomes, according to this report.

    Some hospitals are reportedly preventing medication errors like these by sending pharmacists along with doctors on patient rounds. Technology that tracks patient medication and dosage can also help reduce these types of medication errors.

    It is important that hospitals and physicians, as well as other medical professionals, here in California have standards in place in order to prevent such medication errors. When medication errors do occur due to the negligence of a hospital or medical professional, patients may suffer harm. Injured patients do have the right to hold negligent parties accountable for medical malpractice in the aftermath of medical errors, but of course it is preferable for everyone involved for such errors to be prevented in the first place.

    Source: Medical News Today, “Blood Thinners Cause 7 Percent Of Medication Errors,” Joseph Nordqvist, May 22, 2013

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