Medical malpractice can occur at nearly every stage of the process from initial diagnosis through medical care to treatment. Often, when medication is necessary, negligence can lead to unnecessary complications, worsening conditions and death.
Physicians and pharmacists are trained to avoid failures in what is termed “the five rights.”
- Right patient
- Right medication
- Right time
- Right dose
- Right route
Unfortunately, even with the focus on these potential issues, errors still occur due to individual errors or system errors. Individual-level errors can generally be traced to a single instance such as writing the wrong instructions or filling an incorrect dosage. A system-level failure, though, can include understaffing, poor training, poor process implementation or poor equipment design.
Patients can suffer due to numerous types of medication or pharmaceutical errors, including:
- Prescribing the wrong medication
- Prescribing the wrong dosage
- Failing to recognize dangerous drug interactions
- Adverse drug events
- Administering the wrong medication or dosage
- Administering the dosage at the incorrect time
There are several steps along the medication pathway where poor training or poor communication can create devastating side effects, including:
- A physician makes inaccurate or incomplete chart notations
- A pharmacist cannot read a physician’s handwriting
- A pharmacist incorrectly fills the prescription
- A pharmacist provides incorrect instructions to the patient
Any of these types of errors can lead to additional patient suffering. Medical negligence can lead to a worsening condition, extended treatment cycle or unforeseen complications. If you have suffered or you have lost a loved one due to medication errors, it is wise to discuss the case with an experienced medical malpractice attorney.