>Medication is often an important part of any medical treatment plan. Medications can relieve symptoms or pain, control body functions, treat infections, or prevent life-threatening events. In one year, pharmacies filled more than four-billion prescriptions for various conditions. In addition to the medications that patients take home, hospitals also administer millions of pills to patients each year.You should be able to assume that when you take prescribed or administered medication that you will receive the intended benefits of the drug without suffering unexpected harm. Unfortunately, some people who take certain medications suffer preventable injuries—often because a medical professional made an error.The law firm of Abels & Annes, P.C., represents clients in and around Chicago who have suffered injuries due to medication errors. These cases can be highly technical and complicated, so you always want a law firm on your side with the experience and resources needed to successfully protect your rights. Please contact our office today for more information.
Types of Medication Errors
Doctors, pharmacists, nurses, and other medical staff can all make serious mistakes regarding medications. Some of the many medication errors that may cause harm include:
Prescribing the wrong type of medication – Sometimes a doctor will send a patient home with the entirely incorrect prescription. This can be dangerous for several reasons. First, the patient may have an adverse reaction to the medication they receive. Second, the patient will not receive the benefits of the medication they should have received. If certain conditions are not treated properly, serious and life-threatening complications can occur.
Failure to consider a patient’s medical history – Before a medication is prescribed or administered, a doctor should carefully review a patient’s medical history to ensure they have had no previous allergies to this type of medication and that their system is strong enough to handle the medication. If they fail to do this, a patient can have a harmful reaction.
Mixing medications with adverse reactions – Many people in the United States are on multiple types of medications at the same time. A doctor or pharmacist should always examine all of the prescription and over-the-counter drugs a patient is currently taking to ensure none of them will react harmfully with the newly prescribed medication.
Failure to warn of potentially harmful risks – Before patients take medication, they should be fully informed about all of the known possible side effects. In this day and age, inadequate warnings about harmful side effect are all too common. When a doctor fails to warn a patient about known risks, the patient cannot make an informed decision and often does not realize the risks until too late.
Errors in medication administration – Almost every hospital patient will require some type of medication, and many will need several different kinds. With a revolving door of patients and nurses changing shifts, it can be difficult to keep track. Inadequate records about medication administration can lead to forgotten doses, incorrect doses, or even overdoses.
Harm Caused by Medication Errors
The injuries that result from medication mistakes can range from relatively minor skin rashes to death. The injuries each patient suffers will depend on the type of medication in question and the type of error that occurred. In any case, patients can incur many losses as a result of their injuries, including:
- Costs of medical treatment needed as a result of the injury
- Lost income from work missed due to recovery from the injury
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent injuries
- Wrongful death
The losses incurred can differ from case to case. Some patients may only need additional medication and doctor’s visits, while others may require extended hospitalization. Determining the full nature of the harm caused and the past and future losses incurred is an essential part of any medication error case.
Do You Have a Medication Error Claim?
Medication errors fall under medical malpractice law and these claims can be complex. Medical malpractice laws will not hold every doctor who makes a mistake liable for the injuries of a patient. Instead, the doctor must be found to have fallen beneath the standard of care required of medical professionals.The standard of care is measured by what a similarly trained doctor would have done in the same situation. For example, imagine a doctor prescribes a certain medication to a patient that causes them injury. If another doctor with similar education and training in that type of medicine may have reasonably made the same error under the circumstances, the error likely will not rise to the level of malpractice.Of all the types of medical errors, those involving medications are most likely to qualify as malpractice, because most medication errors can be avoided with a careful review of a patient’s medical history and by avoiding distraction or carelessness. For this reason, anyone who has been injured by a medication error should consult with a law firm that can identify whether legal action is possible. Medical malpractice claims may be resolved through insurance companies or through lawsuits in civil court. Our attorneys can identify the best course of action for you to recover the full amount you deserve for your losses. We navigate every step of an insurance claim or personal injury claim for our clients and dedicate any resources necessary to negotiating a favorable settlement or obtaining an award in court, if necessary. We advise clients to reject initial lowball offers and advocate for fair settlements.
Discuss Your Situation With a Chicago Medication Error Lawyer Today
Suffering unnecessary injury due to a doctor’s negligence can be traumatizing and costly in many ways. Victims of medication errors and other forms of medical malpractice deserve full compensation for all losses related to the doctor’s mistake. Medical cases often require expert analysis, so you need an attorney who has access to the resources you need to prove your claim. Please call Abels & Annes, P.C., at (312) 924-7575 for a free consultation.