• Oct
    Posted in:
    Posted by: Jarve Kaplan Granato Starr

    Can a Medication Error Constitute Medical Malpractice?

    We rely on medication to cure our ills, and likewise, we rely on the healthcare community to be knowledgeable and careful when providing us with those medications. The process of ordering and filling prescriptions may seem straightforward, but there are many points along the way where a medication error can take place. From the doctor who writes the prescription to the nurse who calls it in, to the pharmacist who dispenses the medication, at each of those steps there is a real possibility that a mistake could lead to serious complications or even death. When a medication error is made as a result of a healthcare professional failing to take proper care while prescribing, administering or dispensing it, it may represent medical malpractice. Let’s take a look at what medical malpractice is, and under what circumstances it comes into play.

    In most medication mistakes that represent medical malpractice, the mistake involves an incorrect dosage, an incorrect drug, or an incorrect patient. The doctor may write a prescription indicating the wrong medication dosage or strength or may order a drug that is contraindicated with another medication that the patient is taking or a condition that the patient may have. A nurse may administer the wrong drug in the hospital, giving medication to the wrong patient, or too many or too few of a drug that was ordered. Drug stores are frequent points at which mistakes are made, either because they dispense the wrong medication entirely, mismark the label or the instructions, or give a medication to the wrong customer.

    Medication mistakes happen because of bad handwriting, poor communication, carelessness and understaffing. Many pharmacy chains put enormous pressure on their staff to fill an overwhelming number of prescriptions in too short a period of time and with insufficient pharmacy staff. It all puts patients at risk for harm, as a medication can cause a bad reaction or the lack of a needed medication may lead to a patient’s condition worsening.

    As upsetting as it may be to discover that a healthcare professional has been careless with your medicine, you cannot file a claim for medical malpractice simply because a mistake has been made. In order for medical malpractice to occur, there must be an injury that resulted from the mistake, and you must be able to prove both that the mistake was made and that it caused an injury.

    If you or someone you love has been harmed as a result of a medication error and you believe that you may be eligible to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, we can help. Call us today to set up a time for us to talk about what happened to you.





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