Medication Errors and Your Health
Medicine saves lives. However, medicine can also harm a patient if the wrong type or dosage is administered. Unfortunately, this happens far too often.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated in a recent report that it had received nearly 30,000 reports of medication errors since 1992. The agency added, “These are voluntary reports, so the number of medication errors that actually occur is thought to be much higher.”
If you or a family member of yours has been harmed by a medication error that may have been caused by negligence, an experienced medical malpractice lawyer from Powers & Santola, LLP, can examine your case. You could be eligible to obtain compensation for your losses and for your pain and suffering.
To schedule a free consultation, call or contact us online today. Our firm serves clients throughout New York State, including Albany and Syracuse.
Causes and Consequences of Medication Errors
The National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention (NCCMERP) defines 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 health care professional, patient or consumer.”
Specific medication errors may include:
- Lack of medication for a patient in need
- Administration of the wrong drug
- Administration of the wrong dosage
- Untimely administration of medication – too late or too soon
- Administration of medication that interacts adversely or exacerbates the patient’s medical condition.
The NCCMERP says medication errors may be related to:
- Miscommunication in ordering and dispensing of medications
- Problems with procedures and systems for prescribing and administering medication
- Product packaging, labeling and nomenclature (medical / scientific names)
- Compounding (combining drugs)
- Failure to monitor the use of medications
- Lack of education among those handling medications
- Misuse of medications for off-label or unapproved uses.
The Mayo Clinic’s citation of the most common causes of medication errors all relate to miscommunication:
- Poor communication between health care providers
- Poor communication between providers and their patients
- Sound-alike medication names and medical abbreviations
- Illegible prescriptions or confusing directions.
Investigating Suspected Medication Errors
At Powers & Santola, our medical malpractice attorneys can help if you believe you or a loved one has been harmed by a medication error due to a medical professional’s negligence.
We can obtain medical records pertaining to the event and ask qualified medical professionals to review them. If there is sufficient evidence of a preventable medication error and the harm it caused, we can initiate a claim for compensation on your behalf.
Part of our investigation will be to examine the standards and practices of the hospital or medical center involved in your case. As The Institute for Safe Medication Practices advises:
“Medication errors are rarely the result of one person making an error, but rather a series of system failures that allowed an error to occur. Analysis of medication errors should include looking at the system causes of medication errors … and evaluating the behavior of the staff involved in the medication error.”
If we pursue a medical malpractice claim on your behalf, we would seek compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and other losses.
It is important to understand that pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit is a complex and time consuming undertaking because of the large volumes of technical data and often conflicting accounts of the case by numerous people involved. There are also strict deadlines for filing medical malpractice claims. This is why it is best to begin work on the case as soon as possible.
Contact an Albany Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you or a loved one has been harmed by a suspected medication error, Powers & Santola, LLP, wants to listen to you and help you. Speak to our medical malpractice attorneys or reach us online today and schedule a free consultation.
Sources / More Information