Medication Errors and Medical Malpractice: Could You Have a Case?
As healthcare consumers, we rely on health care professionals and medical facility employees to meet acceptable standards of care when prescribing or administering medication. But all too often, medication errors occur. The results can be devastating. Medication errors can cause or exacerbate illness, result in disability, cause birth defects, or even cause death.
What Constitutes a Medication Error?
A medication error is defined as any preventable event that caused or led to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the medication was in the control of a healthcare professional, patient or consumer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration receives more than 100,000 reports of medication errors in the United States each year, and there are likely even more that go unreported.
What Are Typical Medication Errors?
Some typical types of medication errors made by healthcare professionals include:
Overprescribing medication has serious effects on both patients and society. A major factor in America’s opioid crisis, prescribing powerful painkillers to patients who do not require them can result in addiction. A medicine doesn’t have to be addictive to be overprescribed. Too high a dose or too much of almost any medicine has the potential for causing damage.
Dosage errors can occur at several stages of the medication use system. A doctor could have written a prescription for an incorrect dosage; a nurse could have administered the wrong dose to the patient; the hospital or nursing home staff could have administered the drug at the wrong intervals; or they could have administered the drug for too short a time or too long a time. All of these mistakes would constitute dosage errors and could be the basis for a claim for damages.
Insufficient Information Before Prescribing
Before prescribing a medication, a physician must consider any drugs the patient is currently taking as well as any allergies the patient has. The failure take all necessary information into consideration before prescribing a drug could cause the patient to have serious reactions resulting in grievous harm.
Administering Wrong Drug to Wrong Patient
When a patient takes the wrong medication, not only is he or she at risk of an adverse reaction to the medication, but they are also missing out on the medication that they need. This could happen at the time a prescription is filled or when a drug is being administered at a hospital or other healthcare facility.
How Can a Colorado Springs Personal Injury Attorney Help?
A Colorado Springs personal injury attorney with experience in medical malpractice cases, including cases involving medication errors, can help you assess if the error resulted in harm due to negligence. The right attorney will help determine what damages are potentially recoverable in a lawsuit against the provider or facility responsible for the medication error, and then be your aggressive advocate should you choose to move forward with a claim.
We invite you to either call the experienced attorneys at Levine Law at 719-471-3000 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.