Medical negligence can result when a medical professional fails to exercise an acceptable standard of care. This can occur in a number of medical situations, including the prescribing, dispensing and giving of medication.
Who Makes Medication Errors?
Medication errors can involve a number of people including:
- a Hospital
- the Medication Manufacturer
- Other medical personnel
From the manufacturing of the medication to the final filling of the prescription, there may be any number of medical professionals involved that could lead to medication errors.
Medication Error – Wrong Medication
Giving a patient the wrong medication is one common type of medication error. This can be the result of a doctor prescribing the wrong medication, a pharmacist filling the wrong kind of medication or a medical professional (such as a nurse or anesthesiologist) who administers the wrong medication.
Sometimes the wrong medication is given because there is a mix-up with patients. Medication mistakes can also happen when the name of a medication is similar to the name of another medication, not that this excuses this type of medical negligence. Another common cause for medication errors is when a pharmacist cannot read the doctor’s handwriting so the wrong medication is filled.
Medication Error – Wrong Dose
Another common medication error is when the wrong dosage is given. A patient can end up being prescribed or given too much or too little of a dosage. Either of these could lead to injuries.
Too much dosage could result in further complications. Too little dosage could fail to take care of the medical condition being treated.
Medication Error – Patient Medical History
A patient’s medical history is important to take into consideration when prescribing or administering medication. Some of the important components of a patient’s medical history may include:
- Current medical conditions
- Other medications a patient is taking
- Lab results
- If a patient is pregnant
- Previously diagnosed medical conditions
Adverse reactions could result in serious injuries if a patient’s medical history is not taken into account and the wrong medication is prescribed or administered.
Medication Error – Misdiagnosis
A misdiagnosis of a medical condition can lead to a patient then being prescribed the wrong medication. This type of error can not only lead to injuries from taking the wrong medication but there is also a risk or serious or fatal injuries in the failure to treat the real medical condition.
Medication Error – Medication Warnings
Most medications come with warnings that need to be considered before administering or prescribing that medication to a patient. If doctors or pharmacists do not have up-to-date warnings about certain medications, it could lead to injuries. Medication Error – MiscommunicationCommunication, verbal and written, is important when it comes to dealing with medication. Some of the types of miscommunication that could result in a medication error include:
- Illegible handwriting
- Misplacing or misuse of decimal points or numbers
- Confusion with dosing units or measurements
- Incorrect abbreviations
Medication Error – Labeling
The labeling of medication is important. If the wrong label is placed on medication or the label is inaccurate in any way, it could lead to serious injuries. Liability for a medication error due to mislabeling could include the manufacturer of the medication for providing the wrong label.
Most of these common medication errors are preventable. Doctors, pharmacists and other medical professionals are trusted to provide a standard of care that keeps patients safe.
If you have been injured because of a medication error in Illinois, you should contact a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer. A qualified attorney can help you determine if medical negligence played a part in your medication error and who may be held liable for any injuries you have sustained.
Contacting a Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyer
At the Law Offices of Barry G. Doyle, P.C, our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys will examine all aspects of your claim, determine liability, and aggressively pursue the full amount of compensation due to you or your loved one for any injuries or loss of life due to medical malpractice. Contact us today for a free case evaluation – 312-263-1080.