A doctor or another medical professional has many duties to a patient, one of which is the duty to prescribe and administer the right type of medication, as well as the right dosage. In the event the doctor prescribes or administers the wrong drug or dosage, the patient may suffer serious complications, including death in the most severe cases.
If you or a loved one is the victim of a healthcare provider’s medication error, you have the right to seek legal recourse. Talk to Ron Meyers & Associates PLLC for help – call us at (360) 459-5600.
Causes of Drug or Dosage Errors
Medication errors are one of the most dangerous and deadliest types of medical errors. The factors below may contribute to a medication error like prescribing or administering the wrong drug or dosage.
- Miscommunication among hospital staff, nurses and doctors
- Failure to read a patient’s chart thoroughly
- Illegible prescription handwriting
- Confusion over which medications a patient currently takes
- Faulty medical devices (like diabetic insulin pumps)
- Other forms of physician negligence
Manufacturing, packing, monitoring and administration errors can lead to medication complications. Patients always should disclose the medications they take, and doctors should always inquire about the drugs the patient is taking.
The Dangers of Prescribing or Administering the Wrong Drug or Dosage
If a physician prescribes or orders the wrong drug or dosage, the patient may not receive the correct type or dosage of medication he or she needs to treat a condition successfully. For example, a patient who needed a certain amount of insulin to control diabetes, but did not receive the correct amount, may be at risk of harm.
A patient also may receive too much of a drug in some cases. A patient undergoing surgery, for example, may receive general anesthesia to render the patient unconscious and reduce pain. However, if the anesthesiologist administers too much anesthesia, the patient can suffer from serious health consequences, including death.
A patient may receive the wrong drug altogether. The wrong drug could have negative interactions with a drug that the patient already takes and may not be effective in treating the patient’s condition.
Liability for Harm Caused by Medication Errors
When a medical professional makes a medication error that leads to patient harm, one of the biggest questions is, “Who’s liable for injuries?”
If a doctor did not follow a reasonable standard of care when evaluating the patient and prescribing or administering the medicine, then the doctor may be liable. If a pharmacist was negligent in some way – such as filling a prescription with the wrong drug or dosage – then the pharmacist may be liable for damages. Similarly, incorrect labeling of the drug name or dosage may leave a manufacturer, hospital or another party liable.
If you believe that you have been the victim of a preventable medication error and would like to file a lawsuit for damages, seek legal counsel. You and your attorney will review your eligibility to file a claim and formulate a plan to prove negligence, liability, and damages. You must prove a duty of care existed between you and the medical professional, the defendant was negligent, and the negligence caused your damages. You have three years to file your medical malpractice case under Washington law, so get started.
Take Legal Action Now – Call Ron Meyers & Associates
The attorneys at Ron Meyers & Associates PLLC, can help file your medical malpractice lawsuit and gather all of the evidence necessary to prove negligence, liability and damages. To get started now, call us today at (360) 459-5600.