Common Medication Errors

No matter where your medical care takes place, whether in a doctor’s office or a hospital, medication errors are an unfortunate risk that all patients face when they are prescribed medications during treatment. The dangerous nature of some drugs, as well as the hazards of mixing drugs, overdosing, and drug allergies are all factors that can result in the need for a New York medical malpractice claim.

What are Medication Errors?

Even simple medications such as aspirin can be deadly when they are improperly administered. There are many ways medication errors can occur and many different types of errors you may be at risk for. Any time a medication is not properly administered or given in the wrong dosage it can result in mediation errors. Medication errors can cause serious drug or allergic reactions, increasing the severity of your medical condition, creating new complications, or even leading to death in serious cases. The occurrence of medication errors is almost always a result of negligence of medical personnel. Failure to read labels and patient charts, rushing to administer medications without proper analysis of the packaging/labels, and improper training can all lead to injuries that warrant a New York medical malpractice claim.

Common Types of Medication Errors

Medication errors can occur at any stage of your medical treatment, from the first visit to your doctor all the way through to when you take your first dose at home. Medication errors most frequently occur in hospitals where drug orders are often rushed and administered by fatigued staff members.  Some of the most common types of medication errors that can result in the need to file a New York medical malpractice claim include:

  • administration of the wrong medication;
  • improper dosage;
  • failure to acknowledge patient allergies;
  • failure to account for other patient conditions that may be aggravated by medications;
  • prescribing a medication for an improperly diagnosed condition;
  • failure to properly label medications;
  • miscommunication of drug orders;
  • failure to follow proper administration guidelines for the medication; and
  • failure to acknowledge FDA warnings about certain medications.

These types of medication errors are all related to the negligence or improper training of the various medical professionals involved in your care. Doctors, pharmacists, nurses or any other responsible medical personnel can be held liable for errors made in your medication. If you have suffered damage from medication errors, you may seek to file a New York medical malpractice claim with the help of a Brooklyn medical malpractice attorney.

Medication Errors by Doctors

Diligence in administering medication begins at the doctor’s level when they prescribe a drug. This includes clearly communicating the type of medication being prescribed, the amount, and method of administration. If there are medication errors at this stage it is because of the negligence of the prescribing doctor. One of the most common medication errors is that a doctor fails to review your medical history and known allergies, prescribing a drug that either interacts with an existing condition/medication or a drug you are allergic to. These sort of negligent oversights are a perfect example of when a New York medical malpractice claim is necessary to recover damages from a doctor’s misconduct.

Medication Errors by Pharmacists

Even if your doctor prescribed the appropriate medications in correct doses, your order has to next go through a pharmacist. A pharmacist is responsible for preparing your medication in the proper strength for administration in the correct dosage. They must read the medication order and properly label your order before it is handed to the next medical staff or yourself.  Inexperienced pharmacy technicians are often the cause of medication errors. A slight error in interpreting a written prescription or a single misplaced decimal in a dosage amount can be the difference between life and death with certain drugs. Mislabeling containers or mixing up similar looking pills can also result in the wrong drug being administered to a patient.

Medication Errors by Nursing Staff

If you are a hospital patient receiving medication, the final channel your drugs must go through is often the nursing staff. It is here where medication errors have a final chance of occurring. The nursing staff is responsible for administering the medication in the proper manner, whether intravenously, orally, or topically. If your medication is controlled by an electronic dosage monitor, they must properly input the correct amounts for the strength and intervals.  Common medication errors at the nursing level are when a nurse administers medication to the wrong patient. Depending on the medication given, this can cause life-threatening or fatal reactions. Injury sustained from medication errors can result in the need for a New York medical malpractice claim.

Contacting a New York Medical Malpractice Attorney

When you have suffered serious injury or lost a loved one because of medical negligence, you are entitled to compensation for your losses and suffering. At Gacovino Lake & Associates we have formed a dedicated network of medical malpractice attorneys to serve clients nationwide.  Our New York office serves residents of the 5 boroughs with their emergency room error, wrong site surgery, failure to diagnose, and other medical malpractice claims. For experienced help when filing your claim, contact us today– 1-800-246-4878.

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