A medication error refers to a preventable mistake made by a health care provider when prescribing, dispensing, or administering a drug. When the error causes harm to a patient in any way, it can be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. Here’s what to know about the topic to stay safe.
How Do Medication Errors Occur?
It’s estimated that 1.5 million Americans are harmed by medication mistakes each year. Some of the most common errors occur due to lack of communication between health care professionals or misunderstandings between patients and their doctors.
For example, a hospital pharmacist might misread a prescription and give the incorrect medication. Alternatively, a physician might prescribe an incorrect dosage or overlook the fact that the patient takes another drug that may cause an adverse interaction. A nurse could also administer a drug too often. All of these instances can be grounds for a medical malpractice claim.
How Can They Be Prevented?
Arming yourself with knowledge and actively participating in your health care can reduce the risk of mistakes. When you start taking a new medication, you should know its purpose, possible side effects, interactions with other products, and what to do if you accidentally take too much of it. Speak up if you have questions about a drug or don’t fully understand the doctor’s instructions.
When you’re admitted or discharged from a hospital, ask your health care providers to participate in medication reconciliation. The process involves creating a list of drugs you take and crosschecking it with your doctor’s prescriptions to lower the risk of dosing errors and adverse interactions.
If you think you may have grounds for a medical malpractice suit as a result of medication errors, get in touch with Miraldi & Barrett, Co. in Lorain, OH. For more than 70 years, these seasoned attorneys have provided first-rate legal services to families throughout the Greater Cleveland area. They will fight for financial compensation that not only meets your needs today, but also down the road. Visit their website to learn more about their work, or call (440) 233-1100 to schedule a consultation.
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