Medication Errors can Lead to Injuries
Every time a medical professional writes a prescription or distributes medicine, they should always take appropriate care in order to avoid serious complications and conditions in the patient. If they fail to use necessary care and a patient suffers injury, the patient can hold them liable by filing a medical malpractice claim. Pharmacies fill over four billion prescriptions on an annual basis in the United States and, in addition, hospitals distribute many types of medication to patients. The sheer number of medications used by patients makes medication errors one of the most common types of medical malpractice. The following are some examples of medication errors that can lead to a legal case.
Errors in Prescribing Medication
Before writing a prescription, medical professionals should ask certain questions to ensure the medicine is safe for this particular patient. For example, they should always seek information regarding any known allergies to try to eliminate the risk of possible allergic reactions. Some common drugs that may lead to serious or even fatal reactions include penicillin and other antibiotics, anticonvulsants, and insulin. These can lead to a condition called anaphylaxis, which can have serious symptoms and requires medical treatment.
In addition to allergies, doctors and pharmacists should carefully consider any current medications the patient is already taking to prevent any adverse drug interactions. Some medications that are particularly susceptible to harmful interactions include SSRI antidepressants, statins to treat high cholesterol, and drugs to lower blood pressure. In some circumstances, even certain dietary supplements or foods may even interact harmfully with medications, so a patient should always be fully informed of the risks.
Additionally, if a doctor does not write the prescription in the room with patient, the risk exists that the hospital or office staff will send the wrong prescription home with the wrong patient. Patients are often unable to identify this error and can end up taking medication that is harmful to them.
Errors in Administering Medication
Nurses, doctors and other hospital staff hand out medication to patients on an extremely regular basis. Because the large majority of patients receive medication, errors in administering drugs are one of the most common forms of medical malpractice. The following are some examples of this type of medication error:
- Giving a patient too much or multiple doses;
- Failing to give a patient their medicine;
- Giving a patient the incorrect medicine; or
- Failing to keep adequate records of medication administered.
All of these errors can lead to serious complications, illnesses, and even death. Often, patients who sustain injuries because of medication errors require costly medical treatment that they would have not otherwise required.
Consult With An Experienced Boca Raton Medical Malpractice Attorney Today
Medical malpractice claims can be complicated and doctors and hospitals often mount aggressive defenses against this type of claim. At the law offices of Lavalle Brown & Ronan, our Boca Raton attorneys have extensive experience assisting individuals who have sustained unnecessary injury due to medical malpractice. We strive to obtain the full compensation you deserve from a negligent doctor, so please call today for a free consultation at 888-646-1315.