Types of Medication Errors and Why You Need a Medication Error Attorney
Because doctors see so many patients on a day-to-day basis, a tremendous burden is put on the entire healthcare staff. Medication errors have unfortunately become a common mishap, partly as a byproduct of this demand. They are a very serious problem and affect many patients across the United States every year. The results of an improper dosage, incorrect prescription, or another error can lead to sustained illness or even death. A medication error attorney at Hepworth, Janis & Kluksdal, in Boise, ID, can help you recover damages if you were a victim of a prescription medication mistake.
An Overview of Medication Errors
Medication errors are a rampant problem, as they cause approximately 1.3 million injuries to United States residents each year and, on average, more than one fatality per day. With more than 10,000 prescription medications accessible to clinicians in the United States, and with nearly one in three Americans taking five or more prescription medications, it is paramount that medical professionals exercise the utmost care and caution in prescribing medications. There are many types of medication errors, and they can result in anything from temporary discomfort to death. These errors can be considered medical malpractice.
Types of Medication Errors
From the prescribing clinician to the healthcare professional administering the medication, multiple parties can make mistakes in more ways than one, including:
- Prescribing error – An incorrect drug selection, dosage, quantity, concentration, or rate of admission
- Improper dosing – A greater or lesser amount of medication than is required to treat the patient’s condition
- Improper administration – Using the wrong administration technique, such as oral instead of intravenous
- Omission – A failure to provide a dose of medication
- Time error – Giving a medication outside of a predetermined time interval
- Wrong dose – Administering the wrong dose of the correct prescription
- Preparation error – An incorrect formulation of a medication
- Communicative error – A lack of communication between a healthcare professional and prescribing physician
Although pharmacists, doctors, and nurses undergo years of education and training, they are still subject to human error.
Why Medication Errors Occur
Between prescribing, repackaging, dispensing, administering, and monitoring medications, distribution system failures happen. As patients, we would like to think that medication errors are exceedingly rare, but they are not. Why do they happen?
- Distraction – A rise in patient demand increases the likelihood that practitioners will misread labels and administer incorrect medications
- Exhaustion – Longer hours increase the odds that an overworked physician will make reading errors and suffer from a lapse in judgment
- Lack of understanding – Practitioners who lack knowledge of how specific drugs work, what they are named, and their side effects are more likely to make mistakes
- Incomplete patient information – A lack of information regarding patient allergies, other medications, and previous diagnoses increase the probability of medication errors
Although pharmacists, doctors, and nurses undergo years of education and training, they are still subject to human error. Long hours and distractions can plague the best physician. Whether the wrong medication, dose, or directions were given, the majority of medication errors are preventable.
Receiving Damages for a Medication Error
You cannot sue a hospital, pharmacist, or physician simply because you experience troubling side effects when taking prescription medications. Instead, you will need to prove that you suffered an injury as a direct result of another party's negligence. Without the help of an experienced attorney, it is difficult to prove liability and near impossible to know what damages you are eligible to receive. The attorneys at Hepworth, Janis & Kluksdal can review your case to identify the specific error or careless behavior and detail the ways in which you were negatively impacted. With our help, you can receive compensation for medical bills, lost income, diminished earning capacity, and pain and suffering.
Schedule a Free Initial Evaluation
If you have been harmed by a hospital, pharmacist, or physician’s negligence, contact a medication error attorney at Hepworth, Janis & Kluksdal. Working on behalf of the people of Idaho since 1952, our team has helped many clients maximize their compensation. To schedule an initial case evaluation free of charge, visit our website or call (208) 343-7510 today.
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