Doctors and other medical professionals have a duty to patients to provide them with a certain standard of care in all aspects of treatment. This includes prescribing and dispensing both the proper dosage and type of medication. When healthcare professionals fail to provide patients with the requisite standard of care, there is an error in medications as a result of this negligence, and the patient is harmed because of the error, then the patient may seek compensation for the damages sustained through bringing a medical malpractice claim. A medical malpractice claim allows a person harmed by medical negligence to recover compensation for things like medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Errors in Medication
Medications are truly modern marvels. The proper medication can help someone suffering cope with the pain, it can treat symptoms, and it can treat illnesses. Medication can also, however, cause great harm to a person and put them at risk for certain harm. The risk of harming a patient can exponentially increase if the patient is prescribed or receives the wrong type of medication or the incorrect dosage. In fact, there are many types of medication errors that can end up harming a patient, including:
- The patient is administered the wrong medication
- The patient is administered the wrong dosage of medication
- The patient receives mislabeled medication
- There is a failure to warn the patient of a medication’s common side effects
- The patient is prescribed a medication that the patient is allergic to
- The patient is prescribed a medication that adversely interacts with other medications the patient is taking
These types of medication errors are often caused due to the negligence of the prescribing physician or the pharmacy responsible for dispensing the medication. Negligence can show up in the form of poor communication among medical staff. It can also involve system errors. Medical staff are often overloaded with work and are on the clock for a long period of time. The resulting exhaustion can all too easily lead to errors in medication.
An error in medication does not necessarily mean that the patient will be able to bring a successful medical malpractice claim. In order to substantiate a medical malpractice claim, the patient will first have to prove that there was a doctor-patient relationship. With this relationship comes a duty of care the doctor owes the patient. Doctors and healthcare providers are obligated to act in a way similarly situated medical professionals would act under the circumstances. For instance, with regard to medication, a medical professional would be required to be aware of things such as any other medical conditions of the patient, patient allergies, and any other medication the patient may be taking. The patient must be able to show that the medical provider failed to uphold this duty and that this breach of duty was the direct cause of the patient sustaining harm.
The harm resulting from the medication error can be devastating. The patient may be subjected to adverse reactions to the medication. An unintended drug overdose may also be the result of such a mistake. Furthermore, the patient may suffer due to a delay in receiving the proper care and the proper medication they should have received in the first place.
Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Attorneys
If you have been harmed by a medication error, you may be entitled to compensation for the harm you have suffered. The dedicated medical malpractice attorneys at Cooper Schall & Levy will talk to you about your legal options and fight for you to receive the compensation you deserve. Contact us today.