One of the things that most people are cautious about is what they allow to enter their own bodies. When we are under the care of medical professionals, we may be prescribed medication we do not know much about but are expected to trust in terms of safety and effectiveness. This makes errors in medication one of the most frightening and potentially dangerous types of malpractice because a victim may unknowingly consume medication that is either improperly dosed or mistakenly prescribed.
Much of the preparation and prescription of medication today is supposedly done electronically using complex computer systems in order to eliminate the element of human error. Unfortunately, mistakes do still occur, either due to negligence on the part of the doctor or the pharmacist. Such instances of avoidable injury fall under the category of medical malpractice, meaning that victims may pursue damages after being injured because of professional negligence.
Errors in medication and prescription drugs originate from three main sources. The first type of error occurs when the patient is given the wrong dosage of a drug as a part of treatment. Dosage errors may occur either through intravenous fluids, which are administered by a medical professional or by oral medication which is prescribed by a doctor and then taken by the patient. In the case of an oral medication, the patient is not responsible for knowing a correct dosage or recognizing the error themselves. Because the medical professionals have an increased knowledge of prescription drugs, it is their responsibility to promote the safety and health of the patient by prescribing the correct dose.
Another type of prescription error can occur due to administrative oversight concerning the patient's allergy history. Hospitals and medical organizations are to keep extensive records as to the medical history of a patient. This is done in order to increase accurate diagnosis and also to help the doctor prescribe the appropriate treatment for the patient according to their individual needs. If the records are either mistaken or if the doctor fails to take due notice of them, the wrong medication can have deadly side effects and cause added injuries.
Lastly, it is extremely important that the doctor examine all aspects of a patient's lifestyle before prescribing medication. Because prescription drugs are made up of a precise combination of chemicals and minerals, taking other prescribed medication or over-the-counter drugs can be harmful to the effectiveness of the drug and the health of the patient. Harmful mixtures of different drugs can lead to adverse reactions and cause serious if not fatal injury to the patient. The doctor prescribing medication is responsible to ask the patient if they are on any other medication before prescribing a new drug. Insofar as the patient discloses pertinent information, the medical professionals involved have the duty to prescribe medication accordingly.
If you suffered injuries after taking a prescribed medication, you may be the victim of a prescription drug error. While claims involving prescription medication require skill and expert testimonies concerning toxicity of prescription drugs and dosage, the San Fernando Valley personal injury lawyers at The Law Offices of Gerald L. Marcus are able to assist clients with the most complex cases.
Prescription errors are costly in terms of medical treatment, lost earnings and loss of enjoyment. They can also be extremely traumatizing to the victim or to families who have lost loved ones. If you or a loved one was injured because of a prescription drug error, you deserve to be compensated in any way possible. Contact a San Fernando Valley medical malpractice attorney from the firm today to learn more about how we can help you take action against the medical professionals responsible for this tragedy.