Ohio Medication Error Lawyer
When medication dosages, levels, or instructions are incorrect, a patient can suffer serious harm. If you’ve suffered an injury due to pharmacist error, contact Kisling, Nestico & Redick right away.
Medication Mistakes & Malpractice
Various prescription drugs are given to patients to treat injuries and diseases, manage symptoms, and relieve pain. Although a process exists to guide prescribing and dispensing drugs to individuals, human error and negligence can occur. Such medication errors can result in improper prescriptions being filled, excessive dosages, dangerous drug combinations, and other mistakes that can result in serious harm.
Some of the most serious errors involving medications given to patients can result in hospitalization, severe health problems, hospitalization, permanent disability, and in the worst cases, death.
At Kisling, Nestico & Redick, our experienced medical malpractice attorneys provide compassionate and intelligent representation to our clients who have suffered injury due to one or more medication errors. We will fight on your behalf to recover the rightful compensation you are owed due to the negligence or mistake that caused your harm.
Common Medication Errors
Examples of the actions or failures to take action that can constitute making a medication error include the following:
- Ordering the wrong medication
- Giving the wrong medication
- Providing the wrong dosage
- Failing to obtain a patient’s medical history
- Failing to administer or deliver medication within the necessary time frame
- Miscommunication between doctors and pharmacists
- Failing to provide adequate fluids with administered medications
- Failing to recognize or discover a patient’s drug allergies
- Failing to protect a patient against harmful combinations of drugs
- Prescribing medication to someone with a history of prescription medication abuse
- Failing to “shake well”
- Mistakenly crushing medications
- Failing to explain possible side effects to a patient
- Incorrectly interpreting and translating a doctor’s handwritten prescription
- Providing an incorrect label on drug packaging
Negative Reactions to Medication Errors
Patients trust that their medical professionals will provide them with the appropriate medication to make them feel better and/or heal. When a medication error occurs, patients can suffer from dangerous consequences.
Patients trust their medical professionals to give them the appropriate medications so that they might alleviate pain and discomfort or obtain the solution to a particular medical condition. However, when a medication error occurs, sometimes the consequences can be very serious for the patient, including:
- Allergic reactions
- Harm to the liver, kidneys, or other internal organs
- Heart attack
- Brain injuries
- Extreme fatigue
- Temporary or permanent disability
- Anaphylactic shock
- Severe pain
What Causes Medication Errors?
The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has estimated that hundreds of thousands of individuals sustain injuries due to medication errors every year. Among these, nearly 7,000 fatalities occur. Individuals over the age of 60 are more often prescribed multiple numbers of prescription medications than younger individuals, so they are more susceptible to incurring an injury due to medication errors.
Many medication errors can be prevented by health care professionals adhering to the strict guidelines for ordering and prescribing medications to patients. In addition, the well-being of patients must supersede any desire to take shortcuts or increase profits.
Sufficient background information must be available for medical professionals to help them properly evaluate a patient’s existing allergic sensitivities and other factors that can affect whether or not a particular medicine should be prescribed. Proper levels of medical staffing and sufficient investment in medical technology can help prevent some of these potential errors.
Medication Errors: Contributing Factors
Various factors can contribute to the frequency of medication errors made by doctors, pharmacists, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. These include:
- The requirement for a complex prescription drug regimen
- Illegible handwritten prescriptions
- Drug names that appear identical or sound very similar
- Drugs that have similar packaging designs
- Drug characteristics that are virtually the same, including strength, type of dosage, and required dosing intervals
- Lack of information regarding a patient’s drug prescription and/or adverse drug response and interaction history
- Failure of medical professionals to follow correct procedures
Who’s Responsible for Medication Errors?
Laws in Ohio require physicians, pharmacists, and other medical professionals to adhere to a certain standard of care. They must evaluate a patient’s individual health and prescribe appropriate medications in the proper dosages while avoiding medications that will cause adverse reactions.
Pharmacists must fill, label, and dispense all prescriptions to patients carefully and accurately.
If any of these medical and healthcare professionals fail to meet the above-mentioned requirements, and such a failure results in one or more medication errors causing personal injury or even death to the patient, then the injured party may have a medical malpractice claim.
Medication Error: Liability & Negligence
Malpractice claims alleging that you received an inappropriate medication usually involve filing a lawsuit or insurance claim. This means demonstrating that the pharmacist or another party was negligent and therefore liable for the losses you incurred because of the medication error.
Establishing Liability & Negligence Requires:
- A duty to act as a reasonable person would under similar circumstances
- The breached this duty of care
- The breach caused your injuries
- You suffered injuries, for which the other party can compensate you
There are numerous ways to demonstrate that a pharmacist, doctor, or another party breached its duty of care. This includes prior treatment records, medical reports, expert testimony, and other evidence.
Compensation for Medication Errors
Depending on the fact involved, you may be able to recover compensation for the losses related to the injures you experienced due to a medication error. Under Ohio law these losses are divided into economic and noneconomic damages and include things like:
- Medical costs and hospital bills
- Loss of income
- Disability or physical impairment
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
Medication Error FAQs
What’s The Difference Between Side-Effects & Medication Errors?
Side effects are unwanted effects that happen when drugs are used under normal conditions. They are also known as “adverse drug reactions” and are not considered medication errors. Medication errors, on the other hand, are preventable mistakes that can happen in labeling, packaging, prescribing, dispensing, and communications when the medication is ordered.
Are Medication Errors Common?
According to the Institute of Medicine, Medication errors are among the most common medical errors, harming at least 1.5 million people a year. The extra medical costs of medication injuries are approximately $3.5 billion a year, and this does not account for lost wages, productivity, or additional health care costs.
Do Medication Error Cases Have Time Limits?
As a malpractice case, Ohio Rev. Code 2305.113 states you have one year to file a medication error lawsuit (age 19 for minors). While there are exceptions, such as if injuries don’t appear until later if you don’t file within 4 years, you could lose the ability to pursue compensation.
What Do I Do If I Suspect a Prescription Mistake?
If you believe that a pharmacist or another medical professional did not live up to their obligation to you in relation to the drugs you or a loved one received, you should talk to an attorney. These cases typically involve various factors and require considerable medical insight. A lawyer can explain your options and best guide your next steps.
Contact an Ohio Medical Malpractice Attorney
Our medical malpractice attorneys at Kisling, Nestico & Redick are highly experienced at achieving beneficial results for our clients who have suffered injuries due to the negligence of health care providers. With offices all around Ohio, including Akron, Canton, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland, we are more than prepared to handle your medical malpractice case.
If you are suffering from the consequence of a medication error, allow us to evaluate your situation and help determine the possible steps moving forward to secure the compensation to which you may be entitled.
Contact KNR today at 1-800-HURT-NOW to set up a free, no obligation consultation