Physicians have the responsibility to carefully consider every relevant factor about a patient’s current and previous health when prescribing medication. The patient’s age, weight, allergies, family history, and other existing conditions can all affect how the patient responds to certain medication, which can steer the physician to prescribe certain drugs over others or adjust dosage amounts. Failure to take these steps is an act of medical negligence.
Doctors are not the only healthcare professionals who can make prescription errors that harm patients. Pharmacists, nurses, and hospital staff members can also make mistakes that cause patients to suffer worsened conditions or develop new conditions. When a healthcare professional’s medication error causes a patient’s health to suffer, the patient can seek compensation for his or her related financial damages through a medical malpractice claim.
Types of Prescription Error
There are many ways a physician or another healthcare provider can be negligent when prescribing or disbursing medication. Examples of the errors that can occur and potentially harm a patient include:
Prescribing the wrong drug for the patient’s condition. Many drugs have similar names, which can cause mix-ups to occur;
Giving the patient the wrong drug. In this scenario, the physician prescribed the correct drug to the patient, but a pharmacist or nurse disbursed an incorrect drug to the patient;
Prescribing a drug that contains an ingredient the physician knows or should have known causes the patient to suffer allergic reactions. This type of error can also occur when the physician prescribes a drug know the interact harmfully with other medication the patient takes;
Giving the patient too much or too little of a prescribed drug;
Failing to warn the patient about the potential side effects of a drug; and
Failing to monitor a patient while he or she is on medication to ensure that the patient recovers as expected.
What to do if You are a Victim
If you notice that you have the wrong medication in your possession, do not take it. Contact your healthcare provider and let them know you were prescribed the wrong drug.
If you have already taken the wrong drug or if you were given the wrong dose, contact your healthcare provider, or if it is an emergency, call 911.
Keep the medication and any record you have regarding it. This will be evidence to support a prescription error claim if you choose to file one.
After you have received stabilizing medical care, speak with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer to determine whether you have grounds for a claim, what your state’s statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims are, and anything else you need to know about filing and pursuing compensation this way.
Work with an Experienced La Crosse Personal Injury Lawyer
A prescription error can have serious health consequences for you. If you suffered financial damages because of a prescription error, you have the right to pursue monetary compensation for these damages through a personal injury claim. To learn more about this process and to start developing your claim with an experienced personal injury lawyer, contact our team at Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd. today to schedule your initial consultation with us.