The medications administered today are powerful drugs, which can be life-saving when administered appropriately to treat infections or disease. They can also be devastating if they are improperly given to patients as well. The Institute of Medicine conducted a study, which revealed that medication errors harm approximately 1.5 million people in the United States each year.
At the Moore Law Firm, we have a specialized legal team comprising of some of the brightest and most talented medication error lawyers in Tucson, Arizona. We offer free, no-obligation consultations to people who have been injured or lost a loved one due to medication errors. If you have been harmed by a medication error, you have the right to hold the at-fault parties accountable and recover the compensation you deserve.
Get in touch with the Moore Law Firm for a free consultation on medication error and medical malpractice lawsuits.
Medicine Errors are Preventable Errors
Medication errors can happen at any stage from prescription and administration of the drug to monitoring the response of the patient. The John Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health conducted a study, which revealed that medication errors in hospitals caused 7,000 deaths per year! The Institute of Medicine also states that on average, there is 1 medication error per hospital, per patient, every day. These medication errors can include:
- 800,000 injuries related to medication in long-term care settings (like nursing homes)
- 530,000 medical errors in outpatient clinics affecting recipients of Medicare
- 400,000 preventable drug-related injuries in hospitals
The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy cited numerous reasons for medication errors, including:
- Filling medication orders with a mistaken drug that has a similar sounding name.
- Unreadable prescriptions written by hand, which lead to errors in dispensing drugs.
- Incorrect frequency or strength of a prescribed drug.
- Incorrect usage of abbreviations.
- Insufficient or missing information about allergic sensitivities, laboratory values, past dose-response relationships, and co-prescribed medications.
- Misspelled drug names.
- Other errors in communicating the appropriate medication.
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Home and Hospital visits.
More Types of Medication Errors
Medical professionals acting in a careless manner can also cause medication mistakes, or if they don’t administer the right drug at the right time in the right dose, to the right patient. The most common physician errors caused by negligence include:
- Prescribing the wrong medication.
- Prescribing the wrong dosage.
- Prescribing medications with dangerous adverse effects.
- Failing to warn of risks associated with a prescribed medication.
- Failing to take a patient’s history of prescription drug use.
The Institute of Medicines and the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy states that physicians who distribute free drug samples provided by manufacturers are a big factor in medication errors. With the distribution of free drug samples, there is no proper documentation related to the medications used by patients. The standard drug-interaction checks and counseling, that are an integral part of the standard prescription process, are also neglected.
The Medication Error Reporting Program, which is operated cooperatively by the United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP), and Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) states that drugs with similar sounding names account for nearly 25% of all pharmacy errors, based on research conducted by the Institute of Medicines. Packing and labeling issues were cited to cause 33% of errors and 30% of fatalities in medication error cases.
Serious Side Effects and Consequences for Patients
Patients who trust their medical professionals tend to offer them the right medication to heal a medical condition or make them feel better. When a medication error takes place, the patients can suffer dangerous consequences. The common scenarios that cause pharmaceutical errors include:
- Suffering from allergic reactions to a drug that is wrongfully prescribed.
- Overdosing because the dosage was too high.
- Taking medication that doesn’t fulfill the needs of the patient.
- Suffering from adverse reactions because of unintended combinations of medication.
These scenarios can cause life-changing injuries to patients and even result in death. If you or someone you love has suffered from a medication error, get in touch with our medication error lawyers in Tucson, to hold at-fault parties accountable and seek the compensation you deserve.
Negligence and Medication Error Lawsuits
When a medication error causes an injury to a patient, they have the right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. It should be noted that not every medical error or complication warrants legal action. The malpractice lawsuit must clearly prove negligence as the factor directly responsible for the injury, for the claim to be valid. In a negligence claim, the plaintiffs must prove:
Duty of Care
All healthcare providers have an obligation to their patients to act in a manner that the medical profession requires from every qualified doctor. The Duty of Care applies to all healthcare providers and physicians in all specialties and is essentially a contractual relationship between the medical professional and the patient. The healthcare provider has a duty to be aware of the allergies of the patient, and other medications they are taking, when prescribing medications.
The negligence of a medical professional must be directly responsible for the injury. Simply filling or prescribing the wrong medication doesn’t constitute as malpractice.
Breach of Duty
If healthcare providers don’t perform to the required standard of medical care, and it causes sickness or injury, they can be held liable for Breach of Duty. If healthcare providers, like a pharmacist or doctor, fail to learn about the medical history, other prescriptions, or allergies of the patient, they can be held liable for any harm caused by their oversight.
Medical malpractice injuries cause emotional and economic damage to the patients and their families. Economic damages include lost wages and all medical bills, while patients who suffer from life-long physical injuries can receive non-economic compensation for their pain and suffering.
What compensation is the victim of Medication Error entitled to?
Medication Errors cause can severe injuries. The financial compensation for the injured in these cases can be substantial. If you have a loved one who was injured by the negligence of a medical professional, then you are entitled to compensation for the following:
Loss of wages and diminished future earning capacity
The experienced medication error attorneys at the Moore Law Firm will fight long and hard to hold all parties responsible and accountable for any medication malpractice. We have an excellent track record of winning massive financial compensations for the injured.
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Medication Error Attorneys in Tucson
In some medication error cases, there can be multiple reasons why the medication error happened. At the Moore Law Firm, our medication error attorneys will investigate all potential claims and will advise you of your potential legal rights. You can get in touch with us today for a free consultation related to your medication error lawsuit in Tucson, Arizona.