Video: Medication Errors Kill 7,000 Each Year

Medical Malpractice

Dallas medical malpractice attorney Kay Van Wey reports that about 7,000 people die each year from medication errors.

Sometimes dangerous mix-ups occur because drugs have similar-sounding names:

  • Adderall: amphetamine stimulant
  • Inderal: a beta blocker for heart and circulation
  • Celexa: an antidepressant
  • Zyprexa: an anti-psychotic
  • Invanz: anti-bacterial drug
  • Avinza: narcotic

In a busy hospital, doctors will rattle off orders, but the nurse may not hear it correctly, or the transcription of the order may not be legible.  "There are a zillion ways these medication errors can occur," she says.

Sometimes it's as simple as a decimal point being moved over one numeral.

Much depends on the culture of the hospital. “Is it a hospitable where the #1 priority patient safety or is the #1 priority hospital profits,” Van Wey says. "Considering that medication errors are 100% preventable, I don't think that any of us should accept medication errors. We should expect a hospital to have no medication errors," Van Wey says.

In cases that involve serious injuries or death, the hospital needs to be held accountable. Consumers can reach Kay Van Way at 800-489-5082 or send an email directly [email protected]. She is on the web at


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