If you or someone you love was harmed as a result of a medication error, including dosage mistakes or wrong medication errors, you'll want answers and you may be entitled to compensation. The Erie medical malpractice lawyers at Purchase, George and Murphey, P.C. want to help.
You enter a hospital or nursing home expecting that your doctor's orders will be followed. Medications that are ordered for you will be correctly identified and provided, you expect. But approximately 1.3 million people are injured annually in the United States because of medication errors, some of them fatally.
What Are the Most Common Medication Errors?
The FDA reported that the most common errors from a study period between 1993 and 1998 are dosage mistakes, accounting for 41% of all fatal medication errors during the study period. Giving the wrong drug and using the wrong method of administration accounted for another 16% each.
Who is Responsible for Medication Errors?
Each case is different and depends on its own unique facts, but medication errors are often the result of nursing errors. Sometimes illegible handwriting plays a role in these mistakes but hospitals and their nursing staffs are responsible for ensuring that they are certain that the medication they administer is the proper medication ordered. Moreover, mistakes that stem from such problems like sloppy handwriting are easily remedied through proper training, technology and standardized procedures. Mistakes like these never need to happen and could easily be avoided, if hospitals are willing to make the effort to address the problem.
How Can You Protect Yourself From Medication Errors?
You may not be able to protect yourself, particularly if you are incapacitated or overwhelmed by your health problems. But if you or a family member is aware of the risk, you can help to provide some protection by insisting that your doctor clearly explains to you what drugs you are supposed to have, the proper dosage and the method of administration. Then double check with your nurses to be sure they are following the doctor's orders. And never be afraid to ask questions, especially if you're uncertain or have doubts about whether you're getting the correct medication in the correct dosage. For more information on this subject, read our article, 7 Secrets to Avoid Being the Victim of Medical Malpractice.
Do Doctors Make Medication Errors, too?
Not all medication errors are nursing staff errors, of course. Sometimes, physicians simply order the wrong medication, fail to recognize the need for a medication or overlook contraindications, like allergies.
Heparin is a medication that is frequently prescribed incorrectly. Heparin is a drug that helps to prevent the formation of dangerous blood clots. It is often used following surgery, particularly cardiac surgery. If not used, it can lead to the development of dangerous blood clots, perhaps causing an embolism or stroke. If over prescribed, the patient can suffer from life threatening bleeding.
Contact an Erie Medication Error Lawyer
If you or a loved one has suffered because of a medication error, you should contact an experienced Erie medical malpractice lawyer. The Erie medication error attorneys at Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C. have experience in the investigation, preparation and trial of complicated medical cases and want to help. Call today for a free evaluation of your case at 814-580-5017 or toll free at 877-505-9548 or use our on-line consult form.