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The Dangers of Medication Errors in Hawaii’s Hospitals and Pharmacies

Doctors, nurses and pharmacists are some of the most highly educated people in Hawaii. As medical professionals who’ve undergone significant training, they are expected to understand medications, including dosages and interactions. When it comes to real-life applications, however, medication errors are alarmingly common.

It’s suspected that nationwide, medication errors occur more than 7 million times per year, resulting in perhaps as many as 7,000 deaths. The most common errors involve:

  • Prescribing issues. Doctors sometimes prescribe the wrong medications. They may also prescribe multiple medications that cause dangerous reactions when mixed together.
  • Transcription issues. Medical professionals can write or type medication names or dosages incorrectly. This can result in patients receiving the wrong medication or the wrong amount of medication.
  • Dispensing issues. Pharmacists and nurses may not be able to read what doctors write. They may also confuse medications that have similar names, especially when a prescription is written by hand.
  • Administration problems. Nurses and other caretakers can give the wrong medication or the wrong dosages. They may also administer drugs too frequently or not frequently enough. Problems also arise when automatic infusion pumps are used because they can be set incorrectly.

The consequences of any type of medication error can be grave. When a medical provider gives a patient the wrong medication, it can lead to unwanted side effects. It can also lead to interactions with other drugs the patient takes. Administering the wrong medication or too little of the right medication also means the patient isn’t getting the treatment they have been prescribed, causing unnecessary suffering or even allowing the patient’s condition to deteriorate.

Overdose is one of the most serious consequences of medication errors. Errors in prescription, transcription, dispensing or administration can all lead to a patient receiving too much of the right medication. At high dosages, even some of the most helpful medications become dangerous.

At Shim & Chang, we represent victims of medication errors and other forms of medical malpractice. If you or a loved one has suffered injury or illness due to the mistake of a medical professional in the Honolulu area, contact us online or call us at 808-524-5803 to schedule a free consultation.

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Roy K. S. Chang
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With more than 30 years of practical and trial experience handling all types of personal injury cases, Roy K. S. Chang has molded Shim & Chang into a highly creative and innovative law firm that honors the Hawaiian spirit of aloha. He has achieved an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the national directory of attorneys, indicating…

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With his unique name and background, Harvey M. Demetrakopoulos' character and experience have greatly added to the creative and innovative approach of Shim & Chang. He has been with the firm since 1996, exclusively handling personal injury cases. Raised in Honolulu, Harvey graduated from Kaimuki High School and attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa…

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Alvin Tong Shim, Founder of Shim & Chang In Memoriam of Alvin Tong Shim, November 10, 1923 - June 24, 2006 The Spirit of Aloha Born in Wailuku, Maui on November 10, 1923, Alvin Tong Shim was the second child and first son of Henry and Helen Shim. As a young boy, he earned money…

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