Medication errors are unbelievably common, and most go unnoticed because they cause little or no harm. But some have devastating consequences, including death. Medication errors are not an accepted risk of care. They do constitute medical malpractice. These errors come in many forms, and from many sources including doctors, nurses and pharmacists.
Examples of Medication Errors
Common medication errors include:
- Prescription or administration of the wrong medication
- Prescription or administration of the wrong dose
- Administration to the wrong patient
- Administration of an extra dose, or missing a dose, typically due to poor record keeping or poor communication between staff
- Improper delivery method, such as administering intravenous-only preparations outside of the vein
- Inappropriate medication for the current medical condition, including giving sedatives or pain medication to an intoxicated patient
- Giving inappropriate medication causing drug interactions
- Giving a medication to a patient with a known allergy to the drug
- Inappropriate medication based on other medical history, such as prior medical conditions
- Use of an experimental drug without obtaining informed consent
- Continuing a medication that is not working
- Failure to monitor for and respond to adverse reactions
Administration Errors and Faulty Labeling
Poor drug labeling can contribute to administration errors, including wrong dose, wrong medication, or wrong delivery method. It can happen in many ways, such as two different medications having very similar names and not being marked in a way that clearly differentiates them.
If defective labeling played a role in the medication error that harmed you or your loved one, you may have a defective drug claim as well as a medical malpractice claim. These are very complex cases and required the expertise of and experienced and highly skilled medical malpractice attorney.
If you or someone you love has been harmed by a medication error, please contact us to be connected to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer in your state.