In many cases, medication errors are caused by a mistake or oversight by the prescribing nurse, doctor, or pharmacy. Poor written or verbal communications, system errors, lack of staff, work overload, and ineffective safety measures are all common reasons that medication errors happen. These mistakes can lead to serious health consequences for the patient, as they may experience a dangerous drug interaction, be deprived of necessary medicine, or become vulnerable to an adverse reaction to a drug type or dosage.
How Medication Errors Occur
A pharamacist, nurse, or doctor may have been negligent when prescribing or filling a prescription if any of the following is true:
- They were careless in prescribing the incorrect medication
- They gave a patient the wrong dosage amount
- They gave a patient a medication that wasn’t intended for them (such as accidentally switching a prescription with someone else)
- They failed to inform the patient of risks associated with medication
- They mixed different types of prescription drugs into one container
- The doctor failed to identify potential drug interactions with other medications the patient is currently on
Elements of Medication Error Lawsuits
If a patient sustains a worsened condition, new illness, or passes away from a medication error, them or their surviving family members can move forward with a medical malpractice lawsuit. There are elements of medical malpractice lawsuits that must be true and proven in the court of law in order for the case to have a chance at succeeding. Many patients and their family members find that justice is served through pursuing compensation for the devastation that resulted.
The three elements of medical malpractice lawsuits are listed here:
- Duty of Care: healthcare professionals have a duty to their patients to provide a certain standard of care that is expected within the medical community. Duty of care applies to all providers where there is a contractual relationship between the treating physician and patient.
- Breach of Duty: when healthcare professionals do not perform to the standard of medical care, which causes harm to the patient, they can be held liable for breaching their duty.
- Causation: the professional must have been directly at-fault for the injury, financial loss, and harm that was caused by the breach of duty. These damages must be quantifiable in court.
If a doctor or other medical professional broke your trust in them and you suspect you have experienced medical malpractice, don’t hesitate to get more answers from a legal professional, such as a medical malpractice lawyer in Indianapolis, IN at Ward & Ward Law Firm.