We place our health in the hands of medical professionals when we are dealing with an injury or illness. Unfortunately, these professionals don’t always provide the level of care that patients deserve. Pennsylvania is the state with the second-highest number of claims won against physicians in the United States.
Any action by a medical provider that is outside the normal standard of care is the basis for a medical malpractice claim. Administering the wrong medication is an error that rises to the level of malpractice. Read on to understand how these mistakes happen and who is responsible.
What are medication errors?
A medication error happens when medications are not administered appropriately, including:
- The wrong dose
- The wrong medication
- A medication that interacts negatively with another medication used by the patient
Many factors contribute to a medication error:
- Complicated dosing requirements for children
- Fast pace and interruptions in a hospital environment
- Poor communication between doctors treating a patient
- Poor communication between the patient and doctor
- Drugs with similar names
- Drugs with similar appearances
- Misinterpreting medical abbreviations
In the United States, medication errors result in more than 770,000 injuries and deaths every year and cost an estimated $5.6 billion.
Who is responsible for my injuries?
The negligent medical provider is responsible for any injury caused by a medication error. This is not limited to doctors be encompasses any individual or institution that acted negligently:
- Medical Professional: Any individual that committed an error in prescribing, administering, or managing your medication is responsible for a resulting injury. This could be a doctor, nurse, anesthesiologist or any other provider.
- Medical Institution: If a hospital or other medical institution failed to adopt industry standards for reducing medication errors, the institution is responsible for that failure.
- Medicine Manufacturer: If the medicine manufacturer failed to perform appropriate safety testing, mislabeled, falsely advertised, or failed to disclose known risks of a medication, the manufacturer is responsible for the resulting injuries.
An experienced medical malpractice lawyer will work with you to analyze your case, including your medical records, to identify whether a medication error occurred. They can determine who is responsible for the error and your injuries.