According to an official report, 36 patients died and nearly 2000 suffered 'moderate to severe harm' due to the mistakes in the drug prescribed and given in the hospitals. These are just a few of them.
Above 41,000 'medication errors' were recorded in all 173 NHS trusts in England during the period of July 2005 to July 2006. This information was published by the Healthcare Commission, which is the NHS regulator. According to it, hospitals need to look into the matter and do something to enhance their management of medicines.
According to the National Patient Safety Agency that collected the facts, 80% did not cause any harm to the patients while 15% caused 'low harm'. The balance 5 %, which accounts for the 2000 errors, caused 'moderate to severe harm'!
'Our data shows that there were 36 deaths where medication mistakes were thought to play a part, though it should be understood that some of these patients were already very poorly and should be put in the context of the one million people who are seen by the NHS every day,' the agency said.
There were no details of the patients who suffered or died, according to a spokesperson, 'A typical case would be someone prescribed Warfarin, the blood thinning drug, for heart disease who was given a second drug without being asked what he was already taking. The interaction might cause a bleed which would be severe,' she said.
The 'excellent' trusts list included Airedale NHS Trust and Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, both in Yorkshire, and Guy's and St Thomas's NHS Foundation Trust in London. The 'weak' trusts list included South Warwickshire General Hospitals NHS Trust and the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust.