Modern pharmaceuticals save countless lives, but a minor oversight in the prescription, administration or dosage of medication can be fatal. If you or a loved one was the victim of a medication mistake, then you may be entitled to compensation for health-care bills, lost income and other damages.
Medical malpractice is a notoriously complex area of personal-injury law. Proving malpractice often requires an independent medical evaluation and expert testimonies.
Here is a brief overview of three medication errors that may constitute medical malpractice:
1. Prescribing the Wrong Medication
Some patients rely on pharmaceuticals to stay alive. Prescribing the incorrect medication can be fatal. It may also allow the person’s condition to worsen as it goes untreated, or cause an entirely new medical complication. According to the National Institutes of Health, doctors must investigate patients’ medical histories before prescribing a medication. This helps patients avoid severe allergic reactions and other health risks. In some cases, doctors prescribe the correct medication, but the pharmacist makes an error. This can happen if two patients have similar names. Some pharmacists provide alternative drugs if the specific medication is not available. This can have devastating consequences. Always compare your medication to the prescription to make sure the drug is correct.
Dispensing expired medication is another common pharmaceutical error. The drugs may not be effective, which can allow the patient’s condition to worsen, or they may cause a new health complication. A pharmacist can also misinterpret a prescription. This often happens when a physician’s handwriting is difficult to read. For this reason, doctors are starting to type their prescriptions to make them more legible.
2. Prescribing the Incorrect Dosage
Prescribing the incorrect dosage can be just as dangerous and prescribing the wrong medication. Taking too little of a drug can allow the condition to worsen, but taking too much can cause other health complications. According to MedlinePlus, dosage errors can be fatal. Patients often suffer incurable harm due to dosage mistakes. If you are taking a new medication, learn the signs of an overdose. If you notice those symptoms, or if your condition does not appear to be improving as expected, consult your physician immediately.
3. Improper Administration of Medication
Some medications require careful administration in order to be safe and effective. This is particularly true in the case of intravenous drips and injections.
If you were the victim of medical malpractice in Mississippi, contact a Biloxi personal-injury lawyer from Morris Bart. We can evaluate your case to determine if you may have valid grounds for a claim. Call 800-537-8185 to schedule a consultation.