Softpedia News published a story last week regarding a troubling medical mistake that doctors often commit-prescribing antibiotics to patients who have viral infections.
The news story refers to the findings of a recent medical study in an issue of the Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. The report raised concerns that doctors were misusing antibiotics when treating patients suffering from respiratory tract infections.
The total number of mistakes is surprisingly high. The study examined just two hospitals, but found that of 196 patients diagnosed with viral infections, 125 of them continued to take antibiotics. That means that virtually two out of three patients with viral infections were given improper medication-an obvious medical error that doctors should be well trained to avoid.
Besides wasting time and resources on a medication that will not improve their condition, these antibiotics may also cause problems for those infected with viruses. Specifically, the researchers note that the taking of antibiotics has been known to cause various problems, including Clostridium difficile diarrhea. Those patients taking antibiotics when not necessary were found to have higher mortality rates and longer stays in the hospital. Clearly this particular medication error harms those unfortunate patients who fall victim.
Our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys at Levin & Perconti encourage all patients who may have suffered a medication error to contact a lawyer today. Doctors have a duty to use their medical expertise in a way that provides patients with a certain quality of care. When a doctor prescribes the wrong medicine or the wrong dosage or fails to prescribe medicine that is needed, he or she may have committed medical malpractice.