Indianapolis Attorneys for Medical Prescription Errors
Doctors and other healthcare professionals prescribe medications for patients to treat and prevent a variety of illnesses. It should be no surprise that the United States is home to the world’s largest pharmaceutical drug market. Our nation accounts for over $310 billion in industry sales each year. What may be surprising is the number of medication errors that are committed each year by these healthcare professionals. Unfortunately, reporting of medication errors is done on a voluntary basis so there is no statistically valid information available. However, some studies report as many as 1.3 million medication errors per year.
Medication errors can have a serious effect on a patient’s health. Taking the wrong drug or the wrong amount of the right drug can lead to unpleasant side effects, serious injury, or death. While the medical community, including pharmacies, has made some significant changes in the past several years to avoid medication errors, there are still mistakes being made.
The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) was created more than 35 years ago to educate the healthcare community about safe medication use and prevent errors in prescribing and administering medication. The ISMP created a voluntary medication error-reporting system for the healthcare community to use to better understand the causes of medication errors and share best practices for reducing errors. The organization continues its work today by offering educational workshops to healthcare professionals and medication safety alert newsletters to consumers and healthcare professionals alike. These newsletters serve as a springboard for more open communication and understanding of safety precautions that the medical community can take to prescribe and dispense appropriate medications to treat ailments.
Types of Errors
While not a complete list, medication errors can occur in a few different ways
1. The wrong medication is prescribed or administered. If a patient receives the wrong drug, the effects can range from unpleasant to deadly. A medical professional has a duty of care to ensure that the drug that they are giving their patient is the correct one to treat the condition.
2. The wrong dosage. If a healthcare professional provides an overdose to a patient, vital bodily systems could shut down and permanent injury could result. Unfortunately the same may also be true if the healthcare professional fails to meet the dosage requirement of a drug and gives an underdose.
3. Failure to diagnose drug interactions. The healthcare professional prescribing the medication has an obligation to ensure that it will not have an adverse impact on the patient based on other medications that the patient is taking or other medical conditions that may be present.
Medication Error Medical Malpractice Claim
At a hospital in Muncie, Indiana, a patient was given an overdose of a very potent antibiotic, Gentamicin, which causes vestibular (inner ear/balance) problems which the patient developed. Case is pending.
Medical personnel who prescribe medications owe a duty of care to their patients. Prescribing pharmaceuticals can greatly affect the quality of life for patients and should be done in a responsible manner. Overdoses or underdoses of medications can have serious effects on a patient’s well-being. If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries as a result of a medication error by a healthcare professional, you may have an Indiana malpractice claim. Contact our office now to talk with an experienced Indianapolis medical malpractice attorney to discuss your rights and options. Cohen & Malad, LLP has litigated medical malpractice cases originating in Muncie, Anderson, Carmel, Lake County, Evansville, Bloomington and all around the state of Indiana. and has earned a reputation as a tough litigation firm in the courtroom and during negotiations.