Over the past decade, the use of prescription medication has continued to rise. In fact, a study published by Mayo Clinic reports that nearly 70% of Americans take at least one prescription medication. The same study shows that 20% of Americans are on five or more medications. When used correctly, these are medications that are prescribed to keep individuals physically and mentally healthy. In many cases, they are what keeps patients alive.
It is easy to understand the seriousness of medication errors in the healthcare field. When a nurse, doctor, pharmacist or other healthcare provider fails to prescribe or administer your medication correctly, harmful consequences can result and the provider can be held legally responsible. As a personal injury lawyer with experience in medication error lawsuits, Attorney Darrell T. Farr can help you get the compensation you deserve.
A Provider’s Legal Obligation with Prescription Medications
A health care provider has the broad responsibility of caring for patients. When it comes to medications, they have a legal duty to exercise caution when prescribing or administering a drug to a patient. This includes the following:
- Determining the benefits and risks of a medication
- Evaluating how the new medication will interact with the patient’s existing medications
- Informing the patient of a medication’s risks and side effects
- Prescribing the correct type and dosage of medicine
- Administering correct type of medicine at right dosage and time of day
Pharmacists have additional responsibilities in avoiding medication error, as they must also accurately read the prescription from the doctor as well as fill the prescription with the correct type and dosage of medicine. Whether it is nurse during your hospital stay or your weekend pharmacist, failure to adhere to these medication duties can result in a medication error lawsuit due to health care provider negligence.
Reasons for Medication Errors
Unfortunately, there are many causes for medication errors in the health care industry. One of the most common is overworked, stressed and tired providers. However, mistakes in prescribing and administering prescriptions are also made due to the following:
- Lack of experience or knowledge of medication
- Poor communication between patients and provider
- Literacy and language barriers
- Distractions and interruptions
- Faulty medication naming, labeling and packaging
Proving Negligence in Your Medication Error Case
As with all medical malpractice claims, there is a specific process of proving a physician or other health care provider’s negligence. It is important to have skilled legal representation by your side to help you navigate your claim. If you were harmed due to a medication error, contact our Attorney Darrell T. Farr today.