Medication errors are, unfortunately, some of the most common mistakes in the health care system. Although many medications do what they are intended for, many medications have powerful side-effects and potentially lethal interactions with other medications.
When a patient is prescribed and administered a medication, healthcare professionals should take steps to ensure that the patient receives the proper dosage and that the medication will not lead to further complications.
However, when a doctor, nurse, or pharmacist does not take these precautions and a patient is injured, they may be liable for damages for their negligence. If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury as a result of a medication error in Palm Beach County, contact an experienced Palm Beach County medication error lawyer. A qualified attorney can seek compensation for your injuries.
Medication Errors Leading to Patient Harm
Medication errors do not just happen in the busy hospitals and emergency rooms, but medication errors occur in all health care systems including outpatient clinics, long-term care facilities, and rehabilitation centers.
The American Hospital Association has found that some of the most common medication errors include:
- Miscommunication of drug orders – Miscommunications between members of a patient’s care team such as confusing drugs with similar names, using incorrect dosages, and ambiguous orders all lead to medication errors
- Unavailable patient information – Many medications have powerful negative reactions with each other and if the doctor’s do not have a patient’s medication charts or information readily available, it can lead to a doctor or pharmacist administering a medication that can have dangerous side effects
- Environmental stress – This factor is particularly prevalent in hospitals and emergency medical settings, where doctors, nurses, and pharmacists are under pressure to respond to medical situations quickly
Medication errors can occur at any stage from prescribing, ordering, dispensing, administering or monitoring. If you were injured due to a medication error, a medication error attorney with experience can help injured patients recover compensation for their losses.
Pursuing Damages for Medication Errors
The United States Food and Drug Administration adopts the National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention’s definition of a medication error as, “any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the medication is in the control of the healthcare professional, patient, or consumer.” The key to this definition is the term preventable and often serves as the basis for a personal injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death case for those injured by a medication error.
Pursuant to Florida Statute 766.102, anyone who has been injured by a healthcare provider and is seeking damages will need to demonstrate:
- A healthcare professional breached the standard of care – To recover compensation for a medication error; a Palm Beach County medication error lawyer will attempt to demonstrate that a doctor, nurse, or pharmacist failed to employ the level of care, skill, and treatment that another reasonably prudent health care provider would administer
- A patient suffered injuries – In order to recover compensation for a medication error, a medical malpractice attorney will work with medical experts to demonstrate that a patient’s injuries were the direct result of the medication error, and had it not been for the medication error the patient would not have suffered harm
Unfortunately, victims of medication errors can sustain serious and life-threatening injuries such as strokes, comas, paralysis, organ failure, and even death.
Palm Beach County Medication Error Lawyers Are Prepared to Help
If you or a loved one has been injured or suffered adverse reactions because of a medication error contact a Palm Beach County medication error lawyer today to learn how an experienced medical malpractice lawyer can help you recover compensation for your injuries.