Medication Error Lawyer in Tampa
We all trust our doctors and pharmacists to provide us with the correct medication. More often than not, medicine is advised to improve an ailment. When we’re ill, we just want to heal and get better. But when an error slips through the cracks, the effects can be devastating, if not fatal.
What is a Medication Error?
A medication error occurs when someone makes a mistake anywhere in the process of prescribing, dispensing, or otherwise giving medicine. When the health care provider’s negligence caused an adverse reaction in the patient and inadvertently caused harm, that is when a medication error has occurred. These kinds of errors are preventable by exercising care and conscientious efforts to provide the right amount of medication to the right patient. A medication error is likely to cause adverse effects such as allergic reactions and could even lead to death. That is why it is so crucial that your medical health provider handles your medication with the utmost vigilance.
What Counts as “Medication”?
The term might prove to be a little difficult to decipher at first. Prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs are quite clearly medications. Any vaccinations and IV solutions also count as medications. And lastly, any vitamins or herbal supplements count as medication as well. The FDA has a detailed description of what counts as medication, right here.
What are the Most Common Causes of Medication Errors?
Usually, the most common causes of medication errors are due to gross negligence by the medical provider. These might manifest as any of the following:
- Prescribing the wrong medications
- Prescribing the wrong amount of medication, or incorrect frequencies
- Inability to clarify a drug’s side effects
- Administering medications to which the patient is allergic
- Not verifying the patient’s medical history and/or current prescriptions
- Failure to notice worsening signs in a patient
Who is At Fault in a Medication Error?
Since several medical professionals are involved in getting you the right medication, any one of these professionals could be to blame for a medication error:
- The doctor who prescribed your medication
- Any nurses who may have administered your meds
- Any ER Staff and physician assistants
- The pharmacy or specifically the pharmacist who interacted with your medication
- The company that manufactured the pharmaceutical (The “Drug Maker”)
What are the Most Common Medication Errors in Nursing?
The errors most often found during reviews of medication errors in nursing care included the incorrect dose, the incorrect amount of medication, or the wrong time of day for a medication process. It was found that nurses, more often than not, failed to identify the contributing factors and make the necessary corrections during the process of medication management. The biggest contributing factor to medication errors was a lack of collaboration between the staff and the patient and this was found to be the major cause of unintentional errors. In some hospitals, it was found that the lack of a good medication process or the inappropriate supervision of staff was the main contributor to the problem.
These factors are usually caused by the lack of attention from the nurse or the misallocation of resources during the process. For example, it may be the case that the nurse is focused on a conversation with a colleague or on her computer screen when suddenly a patient calls and asks her to give him a prescription. Other factors causing medication errors can be distractions from the other nurses and the administration of anesthesia.
How can I Prevent Medication Errors?
Without any background or training in medication, it may be difficult to figure out what exactly each type of medication does. However, there are many ways in which you can help mitigate any errors. It is imperative that you mention any medicine you currently take, any controlled substances you might have used, as well as general health and lifestyle information.
It may also be helpful to mention your medical history, including medication you no longer take. Always ask plenty of questions regarding the medications to make sure they don’t interact or interfere with anything you’re currently taking. You should verify the details on your medical chart, as well as the dosage of any medications they have prescribed. Confirming all the details with your pharmacist is a good course of action, too. But despite your best efforts, it may not be possible to prevent a medication error.
What Should I Do if I Have Experienced a Medication Error?
If you believe that you’ve been affected by a medication error, you should reach out to an experienced lawyer for medical errors as soon as possible. These cases can also take a long time to settle in or out of court, so it’s best to get them started as soon as you experience any ill effects.
At Darrigo & Diaz, we’re not afraid to dive deep into a medical malpractice case and have successfully argued medical malpractice cases, resulting in a recovery of damages our clients needed to move on with their lives. If you’re in need of a medication error attorney in Tampa, contact us at (813) 774-3341 for a complimentary, no-obligation consultation right over the phone. You can also contact us online with any questions you have.