According to national statistics, about 55 percent of people in this country take at least one prescription medication on a regular basis. Millions more are prescribed medication on a temporary basis, such as for injuries or a temporary illness. As patients and consumers, we trust that the medications we are being given are safe and that the dosage we receive is the correct one. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and prescription medication errors happen every single day. While some of these mistakes are minor ones and there is no real harm done to the person taking the medication, many more medication errors cause serious injury or even death to the victim.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of a prescription medication error, contact Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn and talk with one of our malpractice attorneys to find out what legal options you may have. In the meantime, the following is a brief overview of prescription medication error malpractice cases.
Preventable Medication Errors
According to the National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention, a medication error is defined as "any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the medication is in the control of the healthcare professional, patient, or consumer.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) receives more than 100,000 U.S. reports each year associated with a suspected medication error. These reports are made to the FDA’s MedWatch division and can come from consumers, healthcare workers, and drug manufacturers.
There are a number of ways that preventable medication errors occur. Some of the more common types that we have seen at our malpractice law firm include:
- Giving the patient mediation that has been mislabeled
- Giving the patient the wrong dosage of the medication
- Giving the patient a mediation that they are allergic to
- Giving the patient a mediation that dangerously interacts with other mediations the patient has been prescribed
- Giving the patient the wrong medication
There are several parties that may be responsible for the reason why preventable medication error occurs, including:
- The doctor who prescribed the medication
- The nurse who administered the medication
- The pharmacist who filled the medication
- The pharmacy, hospital, nursing home, or other medical facility where the mistake occurred
When a patient has suffered harm because of a medical professional’s preventable medication error, that is legally considered medical negligence. Medical negligence is defined as the following:
“When a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other medical professional deviates from the prevailing standard of care resulting in harm or injury to the patient.”
The standard of care is typically defined as the level of care that a medical professional of similar education and experience would provide in similar circumstances.
A Virginia medication error attorney can investigate a victim’s case to determine who caused the preventable medication error and who is liable for any losses the victim suffers because of this error. The victim may be able to pursue damages for the medical expenses to treat the health issues the error caused, whether that was the worsening of the existing medical condition the medication was supposed to treat, as well any new medical problems the mistake caused.
In addition to the medical expenses, the victim may also be able to pursue damages for loss of income if they were unable to work while they recovered, pain and suffering, emotional anguish, and any permanent disability or chronic health issues that resulted from the medication error.
Contact a Virginia Injury Attorney Today
Virginia injury law allows victims to pursue financial compensation for the losses they have suffered due to the actions of medical staff. These claims can be pursued through a medical malpractice lawsuit.
The legal team at Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn has successfully represented many clients and their families who suffered serious injury or illness because of the negligence or carelessness of a doctor or other medical staff.
Our Virginia medical error attorneys understand the overwhelming stress these types of mistakes can have on families and work diligently to obtain financial compensation because of the harm victims suffered when medical staff failed to provide the necessary medical treatment. Call 800-752-0042 for your free case evaluation and to find out how we can help.
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