Medications are amazing tools that can enhance one’s physical and mental health, ease pain, and even save lives. Patients rely on physicians, nurses, hospitals, pharmacies and other health care professionals to dispense medication in a safe manner. Unfortunately, medication errors occur more often than they should, and can result in serious injury or death. The best medical malpractice attorneys understand that the consequences of medication errors can be life-changing. Filing a medical malpractice claim can help injured patients and their families hold the negligent parties accountable.
Common Types of Medication Errors
From the initial prescription written by a health care professional to the pharmacy that fills it, medication errors can happen at any level. These errors also occur in hospitals, where nurses are typically responsible for administering medications.
Common medication errors include:
- Prescribing the wrong medication
- Prescribing an incorrect dosage
- Failing to ask about a patient’s medical history and current medications before prescribing a medication
- Prescribing medications with dangerous interactions
- Prescribing medication to a patient who is allergic to it
- Administering medicine to the wrong patient in a hospital
- Administering an incorrect dose of medication
- Forgetting to administer a dose of a critical medication
- Failing to inform a patient of the risks of a medication
- Prescribing a drug for off-label use (to treat a condition for which the drug is not approved by the FDA)
- Dispensing errors in pharmacies
Repercussions of Medication Errors
Depending on the circumstances, these mistakes can do great harm to patients and their families. Medication errors can also destroy a medical provider’s and facility’s reputation, lead to medical malpractice claims, and result in criminal charges in some cases.
A range of complications for patients can result from medication errors, including permanent injury or death. For example, if a nurse forgets to administer blood pressure medication to a patient in the hospital and they have a stroke, they can suffer permanent disabilities such as paralysis, memory loss, speech and language problems, weakness, or death.
An avoidable error such as prescribing an incorrect dose of an antibiotic can cause someone with an infection to develop a life-threatening condition like sepsis. Most medication errors are avoidable, which makes it even more frustrating if one is injured or coping with the injury or wrongful death of a loved one due to a health care professional’s mistake.
Recovering Compensation for Medication Errors
If you have been harmed by a medication error, you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries. There are countless scenarios in which medication errors may occur, and the best personal injury lawyers have seen it all. It can be challenging to know whether you have a medical malpractice claim, so it is vital to speak with an attorney. Not only can a lawyer help you recover the compensation you deserve, but by holding health care providers and facilities accountable for their actions youmay save someone else’s life in the future.
When you trust a doctor or hospital to provide the care you need, being injured or losing a loved one because of a medication error can be devastating. Our medical malpractice lawyers in Chester County, PA at Perna & Abracht, LLC can provide a free case evaluation and advise you of your options.