Medication Error Causing Harm and Malpractice

Prescription drugs are given to patients in an effort to treat various diseases and conditions. Although the process of prescribing and dispensing drugs is structured, medication errors still occur. Any mistake in dosage or prescription can cause serious health issues for patients.

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Various kinds of prescription drugs are given to patients in order to aid in the treatment of injuries and diseases, the management of symptoms, and the alleviation of pain. Although a structured process is in place that guides the procedure for prescribing and dispensing drugs to individuals in our health care system, still, human error can occur. Such medication errors can take the form of error in filling out prescriptions, excessively prescribing dosages, prescribing dosages of multiple drugs that produce adverse reactions when taken together, and other mistakes that can result in serious harm to the recipients.

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.

Prior to prescribing you any form of medication, medical professionals are responsible for ensuring that your medical history as a patient is reviewed and considered properly. When this is not done and you suffer a severe injury as a result, you may have a legitimate claim of medical malpractice.

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.

Call us today at 1-800-HURT-NOW or contact us to request a free case evaluation.

Responsibility of Medical Providers to Avoid Medication Errors

Laws in Ohio require physicians, nurses, and pharmacists to adhere to a professional standard of care. They are required to evaluate a patient’s individual health and choose/prescribe appropriate medications in the proper dosages, while also avoiding medications that will cause adverse reactions. In addition, pharmacists are required to carefully and accurately fill, label, and dispense all prescriptions to patients.

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 valid medical malpractice claim.

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.

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

Types of 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

Common 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
  • Paralysis
  • Seizures
  • Severe pain

Contact an Experienced 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. 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 us today at 1-800-HURT-NOW to set up a free, no obligation consultation.

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