When you think of medical malpractice, what most often comes to mind are surgical errors. However, prescription error is another form of medical negligence and, unfortunately, is more common than you might realize.
According to a national study by the Institute of Medicine, more than 1.5 million people in the U.S. are injured, made ill or killed by prescription errors. The study also shows a patient will on average experience one medication error per day. Moreover, at least one quarter of the total number of prescription errors that cause harm to patients are preventable.
What Types of Prescription Errors May Be Medical Malpractice?
When you receive a prescription to treat a condition, there are several steps it takes before it you receive it. Therefore, there are more opportunities for medication error to occur. However, the most common type of prescription error involves dosages, such as the following:
- A doctor can write the incorrect dosage on the prescription
- If the prescription is written correctly, a nurse can administer the wrong amount
- Equipment can malfunction and administer the incorrect doses
- A pharmacy error can occur and a patient can be given the wrong medication
In other cases, doctors can fail to monitor and control the side effects of the medications they prescribe. Doctors can also fail to take into account any contraindications involving other medications or preexisting patient conditions when writing a prescription. Additionally, doctors can fail to inform patients of all side effects of a medication, which can also contribute to a medical malpractice case.
We rely on medical professionals to prescribe medication to us, provide instructions on how to use it and properly deliver it to us when we are ill. When they fail to do so and a patient suffers injuries or illnesses due to prescription error, it is possible to hold that medical professional responsible.
Donald G. Targan & Associates is a New Jersey personal injury law firm that helps victims injured due to medical malpractice in the Cape May and Atlantic City areas.