When we think of medical malpractice, our minds often go to those victims who may have been injured during surgery or during a stay at the hospital. Unfortunately, thousands of patients die each year in the United States as a result of a medication error.
What is a Medication Error?
Medication errors have been identified as one of the most common, yet preventable medical errors. Medication errors can come about at many stages, including the prescribing state, the dispensing stage, or the administration of the drug. In fact, a recent study by the FDA concluded that 41% of all fatal medication errors are because of improper dosages.
How Do Medication Errors Occur?
Drug errors can sometimes occur because the doctor did not realize there was a potentially serious interaction with another medication the patient was already taking. Or, a doctor could incorrectly prescribe the wrong drug or continually prescribe an unnecessary drug, causing addiction.
The “5 Rights” to Avoid Medication Errors
The Institute for Safe Medicine Practices (ISMP) has studied the problem of medication errors extensively. They have identified some of the more error prone drugs and common errors in an effort to educate healthcare providers in how to avoid medication mistakes.
Patient Safety Advocates have a “5 rights” of safe medication use that all healthcare providers should have memorized. They are:
- Right PATIENT
- Right MEDICATION
- Right TIME
- Right DOSE
- Right ROUTE OF ADMINISTRATION
Verification of this information prior to giving patients medications can mean the difference between life and death. Healthcare professionals have a duty to be thorough, careful, and take necessary precautions to prevent mistakes. This includes making a simple check prior to prescribing or administering medications to ensure the right medications are being given at the right time, in the right way, and to the right person.
Hiring a Dallas Medication Error Lawyer
If you or someone you love was seriously injured by a negligent medication error, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. We’d like to assist you with your case by offering you a free consultation to determine whether you have a case and are able to receive compensation for your loss.
If you have lost a loved one due to a negligent medication error, we understand the emotional and financial hardships your family is now facing. We realize we cannot help ease the emotional pain caused by a loved one’s death. We can, however, be committed to pursuing maximum compensation to help ease the financial burden created by this loss.
Errors in any of these areas can, and do, lead to patient harm. If you or a loved one were victim to a medication error, and as a result suffered a serious injury or death, the team at Van Wey, Metzler & Williams may be able to help. Please, contact us for a free consultation with a Dallas medication errors lawyer today to tell us your story.
We are here for you. Call us today!