Most patients did not go to medical school, and do not have in-depth knowledge of the vast universe of prescription medications. For that reason, we put the utmost trust in the healthcare professionals who are taking care of us to prescribe the correct medication. While medication errors are preventable events, they are still pervasive in all areas of healthcare. Some medication errors are relatively harmless, but they can cause serious injury and death. For example, a recent high-profile case in Tennessee involved a patient who was supposed to receive a dose of Versed (a sedative) but was instead injected with Vecuronium (a paralytic), which left her unable to breathe, and ultimately caused her death.
If you feel that you or someone you know has been prescribed the wrong medication, you deserve justice. Here’s what you need to know about the most common medication errors, how they might occur, and what to do moving forward if you’ve been given the wrong medication.
What Are The Most Common Medication Errors?
Medication errors can happen in a variety of ways, some of which are:
- Prescribing or administering the wrong medication;
- Administering an amount of medication that leads to an overdose;
- Mislabelling a medication;
- Prescribing a medication to which the patient is allergic;
- Prescribing or administering a medication that interacts negatively with other medications;
- Failing to notify patients about serious side effects; or
- Filling the wrong drug at the pharmacy.
There are certain medications that are incorrectly prescribed more often than others. The top ten most commonly misprescribed medications are insulin, anticoagulants, amoxicillin, aspirin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, hydrocodone/acetaminophen, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, cephalexin, and penicillin. When someone has been prescribed the wrong medication or the wrong dosage of a medication, unintentional overdoses can easily occur. These types of accidental overdoses account for up to 40% of all emergency room visits.
How Do I Know If I’ve Been Prescribed The Wrong Medication?
Medication errors can happen to anyone in any setting, including a doctor’s office, hospital, pharmacy and senior living facility. Unfortunately, children are at an especially high risk for medication errors because they typically need different drug doses than adults.
In some cases, it will be easy to tell if you’ve been prescribed the wrong medication because of an adverse/unexpected reaction, such as an allergic reaction, which requires immediate medical attention. In other cases, it may not be immediately clear what is causing you or your loved one’s injuries. Moreover, it can be difficult to know who is at fault. It is not just a doctor who might be at fault in this situation. There are many people involved with medications such as physician assistants, nurses, and pharmacists. This is why, if you feel that you or a loved one suffered harm due to a medication error, you may want to consult a local malpractice law firm as soon as you can. An experienced medical malpractice attorney will be able to investigate your case and provide the next steps in your recovery.
Contact The Law Offices of Cardaro & Peek, LLC Today
The lawyers of Cardaro & Peek, LLC together have more than eighty (80) years of experience handling medical malpractice claims and have recovered millions of dollars for our clients. By working with a trusted medical malpractice legal team like Cardaro & Peek, you can get the justice that you deserve.
The lawyers of Cardaro & Peek, LLC have the experience and resources necessary to investigate and litigate all types of medical malpractice claims throughout Maryland and Washington D.C. Cardaro & Peek, LLC has medical personnel on staff and has access to nationally recognized, board-certified physicians and other experts, to assist in the investigation, analysis, and prosecution of all types of medical malpractice claims. If you or a loved one have experienced malpractice, give us a call at 410-752-6166. Please visit our website www.cardarolaw.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn for more information.