Medication Errors in South Florida
Today’s medications are better than they have ever been. Medicines
are used to treat a variety of illnesses and chronic diseases, and can
be life-saving when administered properly. Yet,
each year at least 1.5 million patients are harmed by pharmaceutical errors
or medication errors that could have -
should have - been prevented.
Contact our Fort Lauderdale medical malpractice law firm if your health was compromised by a medication error in Florida.
What Is a Medication Error?
Medication errors can occur at any stage in the treatment process. They
can occur in the home, in an outpatient clinic setting, in a long-term
nursing care facility, or in the hospital. These errors can be committed
by anyone in the medical profession, from the doctor writing the prescription
to the nurse administering the medication.
In general, a medication error occurs any time a patient receives:
- The wrong dose of a medication
- The wrong medication
- A medication that interacts dangerously with another medication
Doctors, nurses, and pharmacists have a responsibility to ensure that patients
receive the right drug for their illness, the right dose of that drug,
and that the drug does not interact with any allergies or other medications
the patient is currently taking. When they fail to do this, serious
medical complications can occur.
Types of Medication Errors
A medication error can occur in numerous ways, but the most common include:
- Doctor writing a prescription for the wrong medication
- Doctor writing a prescription for too much medication (wrong dose)
- Nurse administering a different patient’s medication by mistake
- Nurse administering the wrong medication by mistake
- Nurse administering the wrong dose of a medication by mistake
- Nurse injecting an oral medication into an IV port
- Pharmacist filling the wrong medication
- Pharmacist filling medication orders with sound-alike names
- Pharmacist mislabeling medication
- Pharmacist, nurse, or doctor not checking patient allergies prior to administering,
filling, or prescribing medication
- Insufficient information regarding co-prescribed medications that may interact
Medication Errors that Lead to Injury
There are times when a medication error does not result in injury. Yet
more often than not, the patient experiences an adverse reaction and /
or serious complications after medication errors occur. In 2008, 1.9 million
people were injured from medication side effects after they were prescribed
the wrong type or wrong dose of medication. It is estimated that 100,000
patients die each year from medication errors that should never occur
in the first place.
Injuries from medication errors can include, but are not limited to:
- Change in mental state, respiratory state, or heart rate
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Serious infection
- Heart attack
- Respiratory depression
Contact Our Medical Malpractice Law Firm in Fort Lauderdale
If you or someone you love has been injured or harmed by a medication or
drug error, it is important to speak to an experienced medical malpractice
lawyer immediately. Our Fort Lauderdale medical malpractice lawyers at
Kelley/Uustal believe that negligent doctors, pharmacists, and medical
professionals should be held accountable.
Contact us at Kelley/Uustal or call us at (954) 522-6601.