Thursday, January 31, 2008

Med errors kill more folks in U.S. than breast cancer or AIDS

There were 2 articles in the Tribune Tempo section last Tuesday that caught my eye (actually they caught my wife’s eye and she pointed them out to me). (Sorry no links)
Interestingly they were on opposed pages:

One article, titled “Doctors’ math errors can be dangerous”, reported that “Doctors make the same arithmetic mistakes the rest of us make, but the consequences can be considerably more serious.” Looking at a single drug dose calculation the Annals of International Medicine published study found drug dosage calculation errors by a “factor of 10”. Thank goodness between us and the drug being given or taken there is often a pharmacist allowing for checking and error remedy. But wait:

The other article was titled “Errors by pharmacists”. It cited an Ohio State University study that found that pharmacists “make an estimated 5.7 errors per 10,000 prescriptions processed…more than 2.2 million dispensing errors a year.”

Makes you feel safe, doesn’t it?

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