Like all medical malpractice, prescription errors occur far more frequently than most people think. When hospitals policies or hospital staff do not put the focus on appropriate and safe patient care, mistakes are made and patients suffer the consequences. And, since thousands of prescription errors occur in U.S. hospitals each year, the consequences to patients are widespread and dangerous.
What Are Prescription Errors?
There are several types of prescription errors that regularly lead to injuries, complications, and other harmful consequences for patients. The most common errors include:
- Overdosing on a medication
- Administering an incorrect medication
- Administering a contraindicated medication
- Failing to timely administer medications according to guidelines
Why Do Errors Occur?
Prescription and medication errors can occur for a number of reasons. In some cases, it is an obvious case of negligence by a medical professional. For example, if a doctor or nurse does not review a chart or label prior to prescribing/administering a medication, they have likely failed in their duty to provide safe care.
In other instances, the reasons for an error may be more complicated but nevertheless negligent. A hospital policy may be responsible for miscommunications regarding patient prescriptions or health conditions. Decisions may be made based on outdated healthcare or prescribing guidelines. Or perhaps hospital under-staffing leads to an unsafe patient environment and missed doses of an indicated medication.
There are many other reasons why prescription errors occur. As patients, our loved ones should not be subjected to any of them. We expect hospitals and medical professionals to give us and our families the safe and attentive care we deserve. Because, unfortunately, when they fail to do so, the consequences can be serious—even deadly.
Prescription Error Injuries
Prescription and medication errors can cause a host of serious consequences. Among the most common consequences are:
- Exacerbation of existing symptoms
- Additional symptoms/pain
- Brain and central nervous system injuries
- Loss of life
When patients receive incorrect medications, overdoses, or contraindicated prescriptions, there is no way to predict just how dangerous the effects will be. If a prescription or medication error occurs, your first step should be to seek out or demand medical attention for the health and safety of the patient. Your next step should be to contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer.
Lowe Eklund Wakefield Co., LPA – Ohio Prescription Errors Attorneys
At Lowe Eklund Wakefield Co., LPA, our attorneys have spent more than thirty years representing injured patients and their families against careless hospitals and medical professionals. If a prescription error has caused you or your family member to suffer injury or wrongful death, call now for your free consultation regarding your legal rights.