When a patient is under the care of a doctor, he or she trusts the medical professional to provide a certain standard of care. This includes doing the right tests, reaching the right diagnosis and providing effective treatment. This might also include giving the patient the right medication. It can be detrimental for the patient if given the incorrect type or dosage of medicine.
Medication errors are one of the most common types of mistakes made in the medical field. In most cases, these mistakes are completely preventable, and they cause a patient unnecessary harm. If you suffered because of a mistake with the medicine you took under the supervision of a doctor, you could be a victim of medical malpractice. This could be grounds for a civil claim.
A preventable problem
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a medication error is a preventable event that results in a patient suffering harm because he or she received the wrong type or dosage of medication. These types of mistakes can happen at any point in the health care process, including when the doctor prescribes the medicine, when the pharmacist fills the prescription or when the patient actually receives the medication.
Reports indicate there are around 100,000 medication error problems every year in the United States. Taking the wrong medication can result in a worsening of a medical condition and other problems, including the following
- Development of a life-threatening condition
- Death of the patient
- Birth defects
There are various ways that hospitals, doctors and other parties can avoid medication errors. One way includes giving each medication a specific code so that verification and identification is possible. Another way to prevent medication errors is to give liquid medication with a syringe appropriate for the dosage amount. Finally, medication packaging should include appropriate warnings, and it should be very clear about how to use the medication.
The long-term implications
If you believe you suffered physical harm because of a medication error, you do not have to suffer through the aftermath of this situation alone. You could have grounds to pursue legal recourse, possibly securing financial compensation for your pain and suffering.
It can be helpful to seek the support and guidance of an experienced Delaware medical malpractice attorney. An assessment of your case can help you understand the legal options available to you in the civil justice system.