West Palm Beach Medication Mistakes & Prescription Errors Attorney
In a hospital or pharmacy environment, one of the most common causes of death is medication mistake. Medical professionals are human, to be sure, but when one does not check their work, people can suffer severe injury or even death as a result. If you or a loved one has suffered the consequences of a prescription error or nurse’s mistake, you may be entitled to compensation.
Common Medication Errors
Our health care system makes mistakes. Reputable studies place the number of possibly preventable patient deaths in hospitals at approximately 440,000 each year. Of that figure, a significant 2006 study shows that between one and two million patients each year deal with medication errors specifically, resulting in severe injury or death. While a variety of mistakes are commonly made with medications, the most often seen involve dosage. The wrong prescription is written, someone misreads a number, or the machines that administer medication (such as IV pumps) malfunction. Either way, severe consequences affect the patient.
Other common mistakes in medication administration include:
- A doctor writing down the wrong drug name;
- Prescribing a medication for a disease that was misdiagnosed;
- A nurse giving the “right drug” to the wrong patient;
- A pharmacist picking up the wrong prescription bag; and
- A patient being given the wrong dosage instructions by a doctor, nurse or other medical professional
No one disputes that these errors occur. However, it can be very difficult to make a causal link between the mistake and you or your loved one’s bad consequences, especially if you were ill to begin with.
In Florida, medication errors fall under the umbrella of medical malpractice. To prevail on a medical malpractice claim of this nature, you must show that your physician (or nurse, or other medical professional) committed an error in prescribing, administering or advising on your medication. However, you must also show that (1) the error led to your injury, and (2) the error was a breach of the normal standard of care that would be shown by a physician of similar skill and experience. In other words, you must show the court that a case to allege negligence is there, which requires the following steps:
- You must show that there was a legal duty of reasonable care that existed from them to you – generally one does exist between doctor and patient.
- You must show that there was a breach of that duty.
- You must show that the breach (in this case, the medication error) was the direct cause of your injuries. If it was not the cause, you may not recover. For example, if a loved one had cancer, and your doctor made a mistake in their allergy medication, you would not be entitled to recover if they suddenly passed away as a result of the cancer.You must show that you suffered actual harm.
Get Professional Help Today
Medication error cases can be difficult and intimidating. Having someone on your side who knows the law can be absolutely invaluable. The law firm of Gary Roberts & Associates has medical experts on staff, and has many years of experience with medical malpractice and prescription error lawsuits. We are based in West Palm Beach, and we can work with your schedule to find a time to meet with you. We can also accommodate those who prefer to speak Spanish. Come see us today for a free initial consultation.