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Doctors keep patients in the dark over medication blunders

We can’t really say it comes as a surprise to us here at NaturalCures.com – but a new study has revealed that doctors rarely let on about errors they make.

They do not inform their patients about mistakes with their medication.

The research, published in Critical Care Medicine, looked at a database of voluntarily-reported medication errors from 537 US hospitals between 1999 and 2005. It reveals that most mistakes made (around 98 per cent did not harm patients.

However, those that did were more likely to happen in Intensive Care Units (ICUs), and in these cases, the ICU patient and their families were left in the dark over the error. These accounted for around 4 per cent of errors made.

Of errors that have led to patient deaths, 18 occurred in ICUs and 92 in non-ICU areas of the hospital.

The biggest error was failing to give a patient medication, and harmful errors often involved devices such as IV lines or mistakes in calculating medication doses.

In more than half the cases, no actions were taken after the error, and only a third of the hospital staff were told they had made a mistake.

Lead author of the study, Asad Latif, of John Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, revealed that in only 2 per cent of cases the patient and/or the family was informed despite the existence of literature supporting full disclosure and a desire to be properly informed.