Thousands of deaths and injuries occur to patients in a healthcare setting each year due to medication errors that could have been avoided. Statistics indicate that between 7,000 and 14,000 death's occur each year in the United States alone.
In 2000, the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, released a report on medical errors of all kinds called To Err is Human. The report estimated that up to 98,000 patients die each year from medical errors -- a shocking statistic -- and identified a significant number of those deaths as specifically due to medication errors.
While administering the wrong medication is an obvious medication error, there are others. For example, the nurse may administer a drug to the wrong patient, give the wrong dosage or operate the infusion pump incorrectly. In fact, infusion pumps have been linked to more than a thousand deaths over the last decade. And there are plenty of other common medication errors.