It’s easy to associate medical malpractice with surgical horror stories, but any mistake during the treatment process can harm a patient. For example, a medication error can cause permanent cognitive or physical disabilities due to drug interactions, allergies and adverse side effects. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, pharmaceutical errors kill at least one person every day and injure 1.3 million people annually in the United States.
The most common medication errors are:
- Prescribing the incorrect medication;
- Giving a person drugs that were intended for a different patient;
- Mixing up the names of drugs;
- Dispensing expired meds;
- Forgetting to check the patient’s medical history before prescribing a medication; and
- Administering the medication incorrectly.
If your doctor, nurse or pharmacist made one of these errors, then you may have grounds for a medical malpractice claim. However, for your claim to be successful, you will have to undergo an independent medical examination, arrange expert testimonies, file motions, present your case at hearings and complete other steps in the judicial process. Due to the complex nature of these cases, it is highly advisable that you hire an injury lawyer to represent your interests.
At Morris Bart, LLC, you will find a personal-injury attorney with the experience and resources to handle your case. Our firm has been helping the injured for more than 30 years. Call 800-537-8185 today to schedule a free consultation with a New Orleans injury lawyer.
Read on to learn who might be liable for damages after a medication mistake:
Pharmacists, Doctors and Nurses
According to Forbes, the defendants in most medical malpractice cases are doctors, nurses or other health-care practitioners. The doctor or nurse who prescribes your medication must review your allergies, medical history and current medications to avoid harmful side effects and drug interactions.
Pharmacists are often the defendants in cases related to medication errors. It is not uncommon for a pharmacist to dispense the incorrect drug or wrong dosage to a patient. This often happens when pharmacists confuse the names of two patients or two medications.
Although there are several causes of pharmacy errors, most cases involve one of these factors:
- Prescriber used decimals improperly;
- Prescriber used incorrect abbreviations;
- Pharmacy staff were not trained properly;
- Prescriber’s handwriting was not legible;
- Pharmacist made a careless oversight;
- Pharmacist had an excessive workload;
- The prescriber or pharmacist referenced outdated information; or
- There was a communication failure between the prescriber and pharmacist.
Common Examples of Medical Negligence
Pharmaceutical errors can have life-changing and potentially fatal consequences, but this is just one form of medical malpractice. Other examples include:
- Birth injuries;
- Misdiagnosis and late diagnosis;
- Performing surgery on the wrong patient;
- Removing the wrong organ;
- Amputating the wrong limb;
- Leaving a surgical tool inside a patient; and
- Delivering too much or not enough anesthesia.
If you were injured or lost a family member due to medical negligence, contact a New Orleans personal injury attorney from Morris Bart, LLC. Our firm has more than 50 lawyers and a support staff of 100 law professionals. Call us today at 800-537-8185 to schedule a free consultation.