While it can be difficult to determine the exact rates of medication errors, since 1992 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have received over 30,000 reports of medication errors. It’s important to recognize that these are voluntary reports, so it’s likely the true number of medication errors is significantly higher.
The FDA has also concluded that 41 percent of fatal medication errors are related to the administration of an improper dose of medicine. 16 percent of the errors are caused by giving the wrong drug or using the wrong administration route. Nearly 50 percent of fatal medication errors happen to individuals over the age of 60. Elderly individuals are at a greater risk for medication error because they are often on more medications than younger people.