Medication and Dosage Errors

BAKER & ZIMMERMAN – MEDICAL MALPRACTICE LAWYERS

DEFENDING THOSE INVOLVED IN MEDICATION AND DOSAGE ERRORS

Medical malpractice due to medication errors occurs when an individual is injured as the result of a medical professional failing to take the precautions necessary to assure the patient receives correct medication. Doctors, nurses and pharmacists must be diligent throughout the prescription process to make sure their patients receive the correct medication. In the majority of cases, medication will work properly and effectively treat the conditions for which it was prescribed. Unfortunately, some medications may be dangerous for a patient. When a medical professional causes injury to a patient as a result of negligent administration of medication, the medical professional may be held responsible for damages caused by the medication error.

An Attorney Can Help Victims Determine Injury Due to Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice attorneys work with experienced doctors and nurses to determine the cause of the medication error. If after reviewing the circumstances of the error it is decided that the medical professional involved was negligent, the attorney can then assist the client in pursuing legal action to receive compensation for the damages they have suffered.

How is Negligence Determined?

Errors in prescribing medication can occur due to negligence on the part of the doctor, nurse or pharmacist. There are many reasons why medication errors happen. Regardless of the cause of the error a mistake in prescribing medication can be very serious even fatal.

A medical professional my be deemed negligent if they:

  • Prescribe the wrong medication
  • Prescribe an incorrect dosage amount
  • Give a patient medication not intended for them
  • Do not consider the patient’s history with prescription medication
  • Do not warn patients adequately of the risks associated with the medication
  • Prescribe drugs that interact negatively when taken together

Lawsuits as a Result of Negligence in Prescribing Medications

Patients injured as a result of errors in the prescription or distribution of medications may have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. In order for a medical mistake to be deemed medical malpractice it must be determined that the error occurred as a result of negligence on the part of the medical professionals involved. In order for the claim to be considered valid negligence must directly responsible for the patient’s injury.
It is the responsibility of the plaintiff to prove the following things:

Duty of Care: Medical care providers have an obligation to patients to provide care at a level equal to that of other qualified providers in a similar situation. This duty of care applies to all healthcare providers and stands as a contractual relationship between the patient and their providers. In the case of prescribing medications the duty of the healthcare provider is to be fully aware of any medications the patient is currently taking as well as the patient’s allergies.

Breach of Duty: When a doctor, staff member or pharmacist fails to provide the appropriate level of care which results in injury to the patient they can be found to be in breach of their duty. Failing to fully discuss a patient’s medical history they can be found liable for injuries caused by this failure.

Causation: Negligence on the part of the medical professional must be directly responsible for causing the injury to the patient. Simply prescribing the wrong medication or filling the prescription incorrectly is not grounds for malpractice.

Damages: The patient must have suffered either emotional or economic damage as a result of the medication error. Loss of wages and medical bills are considered economic damages. Patients who suffer from long lasting injuries may receive additional compensation for their pain and suffering.

If you believe you’ve been given the wrong medication and/or dosage and have suffered because of it, speaking with a lawyer may be a good next step.  Give us a call or an email our medical malpractice lawyers at Baker & Zimmerman and tell us about your situation – we would be more than happy to arrange for a free consultation to discuss the matter with you.