Medication errors can cause serious side effects, and even death. To avoid harming the patient, prescription medications should be written carefully and prescribed correctly.
Medical malpractice lawsuits can arise from mistakes that cause injury. If you were harmed because of a medication error, contact a medication error lawyer for help today.
Medication errors in the United States cause over a million deaths and severe injuries each year. These errors can be prevented in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, surgical centers, and out-patient facilities.
Medication reconciliation can address the higher risks during transition periods in medical care. This includes admissions, transfers inside and discharges from hospitals, and other medical institutions. To avoid medication errors, drug interactions and duplications, omissions, dosing errors, and other problems, it is important to compare all patient medication orders.
Who can be held responsible for a medication error?
Any health care provider that prescribes, administers, or gives medication to a patient can make a medication error. This includes doctors. This includes pharmacists, nurses, anesthesiologists, and pharmacy technicians.
Health care professionals have a legal duty to be cautious when prescribing or administering drugs to patients in order to avoid making a mistake. This includes:
- How to determine the risks and benefits of medication
- Assessing how the new medication will interact with the patient’s current medications
- Informing patients about side effects and risks of medication
To avoid medication errors, pharmacists should also be careful:
- Correctly reading the prescription given by the doctor
- Correct medication is required for prescriptions
- Correct dosage and filling of prescriptions
- Types of medication errors
The pharmacist is usually responsible for keeping track of the patient’s allergies and any medications they are taking. However, your doctor should also have this information.
Therefore you should always use the same pharmacy to fill your prescriptions. Your pharmacist will have your prescription records and can advise you and the doctors if any of your medications are not compatible.
A healthcare provider can make A variety of medication errors. The most common medication errors are:
- Prescription of the wrong medication
- Prescription of the wrong dose of medication
- Administration of the wrong medication
- Incorrect dosages of medication
- It is unnecessary to take a history of the medication use of a patient.
- Failure to anticipate dangerous side effects of mixing medication
- Failure to disclose all potential risks associated with medication to the patient
CAUSES OF MEDICATION ERORS
Doctors, nurses, and pharmacists can make mistakes because of the long hours and stress they often work. But negligence of a health care provider often causes medication errors, such as:
- Inadequate knowledge or experience in medication
- Poor communication between healthcare professionals and patients
- Patients with language and literacy barriers
- Complexity of the case, including multiple health conditions
- Interruptions and distractions
- Inadequate procedures and protocols
- Packaging, labeling, and naming of medication
- Inadequacy of patient monitoring
- Inaccurate patient records
- Confusion when ordering, processing, and receiving medication
How do I prove I was treated for a medical error?
You must prove that the medication error caused you to lose your compensation. This includes:
- You followed the instructions of your doctor and took the prescribed medication.
- The doctor failed to take appropriate measures to warn you about dangerous side effects or complications.
- The pharmacists provided you with medication that was different from what your doctor prescribed.
- The wrong medication was administered by the health care provider or the incorrect dosage.
You must establish a causal connection between your injury and the negligence of the health care provider, depending on the type or medication error. You will also need to prove that you sustained measurable damages such as lost wages or additional medical expenses.
If you are concerned about side effects, consult your pharmacist or physician.
It is important to inform patients about side effects and what foods they should avoid while taking certain medications. Grapefruit is a common food that can cause many medications to not function properly, such as medications for high cholesterol or high blood pressure. This is just one example. Ask your doctor any questions you may have about side effects of your medication, such as foods or drinks that should be avoided while on the medication.
A prescription error can have devastating consequences, depending on its nature. You should immediately contact your doctor and pharmacist if you believe you have received the wrong medication. Follow their instructions. If you believe you were the victim of a prescription drug error and you’ve suffered harm as a result, it may be time to discuss your situation with an experienced medication error lawyer.