Prescription medication errors are quite common, and they can cause serious harm to patients. Errors in prescription medication can happen anywhere in the treatment chain. It could be because a doctor erroneously prescribed medication, or because the pharmacist misread and gave the wrong bottle of medicine.Taking the wrong medication can cause mild or severe injuries or even death.
If you have suffered injuries from prescription medication, you may be entitled to compensation from the person or entity liable. But it can be challenging to know exactly what steps to take to ensure that you get better and that the person responsible is held accountable. Continue reading to find out what to do in this case.
Types of Medication Errors That May Lead To Prescription Drug Injuries
Medication errors can arise from different factors. It could be from wrong medication, information, dosage, or improper administration. Reputable legal professionals who specialize in malpractice and negligence lawsuits like Sadaka Associates can guide you with the course of action you’ll need to take. These are the medication errors and how they arise.
- Prescription: This occurs when a doctor prescribing the medicine gives either the wrong medication, dosage, or both. Sometimes it happens that a patient receives medication that isn’t suitable for them due to allergies. Some types of medications shouldn’t also be combined with other prescriptions that the patient is currently taking.
- Repackaging: Most drugs reach the pharmacy in bulk, and the pharmacy repackages them into smaller packages for dosing purposes. Errors can occur when labeling the containers, resulting in the issuance of the wrong medication to patients.
- Dispensing: The discrepancy between the prescribed medication and the medication that ends with the patient is a dispensing error. It can happen when somehow the medicines were interchanged inadvertently at the hospital or the pharmacy.
- Administering: This includes giving the patient the wrong medication or giving the correct medicines in the wrong way. Even failing to give medicines on schedule is an administering error. These are among the highest medication errors and are mainly made by nurses.
- Monitoring: When medications are given without adequate monitoring, they can have adverse effects and may even be fatal. Patients such as those taking blood thinners or heart medication should always be given the medication under strict monitoring.
Steps To Take If You Get Injured By Prescription Drugs
If you have been injured by prescription medication, your priority should be to get better. Although you may want to pursue compensation immediately, it can be a long and strenuous process that requires you to be in good mental and physical shape.
- Talk To A Doctor
Understandably, you may become hesitant to seek further medical care, but you’ll still need it to recover. Besides, a doctor is the only one who can confirm if your injuries are indeed out of the drugs prescribed. They can offer you the help you need to get back to a healthy form. Seek a new doctor if you cannot trust your previous one anymore.
- Keep A Record
It would be helpful to keep a record of how your body reacts to a particular prescribed drug. Record the details of the drug, such as expiration date, how long you’ve taken it, the dosage, where you got it, and information of that kind. Also, indicate if you were taking other medicines or supplements alongside that particular prescribed drug.
Furthermore, detail the symptoms you suffered and take note of certain reactions and what you did to get treated for those injuries.
- Conduct A Drug Research
Apart from seeking advice from a medical professional on the adverse effects of the drug, you can try and research the drug first. Conducting online research can reveal details about the drug warning and other possible side effects of the medicine you were never aware of.
Get all the information on that drug, such as its purpose, allergic reactions, interactions with other medications, dosage, and side effects.If you don’t understand any of that information, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.
- Seek Help From A Legal Professional
You need to know that seeking compensation in a prescription drug injury case isn’t easy. The doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and medical facilities are insured against a claim like yours. Their insurers will fight tooth and nail to deny any such allegations because they know that prescription medicine-related errors can be immensely costly.
Therefore, you’ll require the services of a lawyer whose area of specialization is medical negligence and malpractice. They are in the best position to advise and lead you on the legal steps you need to take to receive compensation for your injuries.
Seeking Compensation For Prescription Drug Injuries
Always keep in mind that your health and wellbeing is the most important issue. Seek medical help immediately if you notice any kind of injury from the drugs prescribed to you. Then, you’ll need to file a suit against the responsible party that prescribed or gave you the erroneous drugs.
This applies even to minor injuries such as temporary reaction, lightheadedness, nausea, and vomiting. These can all be the basis of a civil action depending on the circumstances under which the doctor or the pharmacist gave you the drugs.
Your lawyer needs to prove certain things to the court if you’re to win and receive compensation. The following elements must be proven in court:
- The healthcare professional had a legal obligation not to injure you. In other words, a doctor-patient relationship must be established.
- The healthcare professional breached their legal obligation by being negligent and falling short of the medical standard or responsibility.
- That their negligence directly contributed to your injuries.
- That your injuries brought about compensable damages.
The compensable damages may include special damages or losses with a quantifiable monetary value like medical expenses and loss of wages. Some damages don’t have an exact monetary value like emotional stress, pain, and suffering but are still compensable if allowed by the court.
Not every negative reaction to prescribed medicines can be a ground for malpractice or medical negligence. However, if you have suffered extraordinary injuries and healthcare issues from the drugs prescribed to you, seeking legal redress is one option. Another way to address the matter is by reporting the negligent party to the licensing board.