We put our trust in medical professionals to look after our family members who require medical care, hospice care, respite care, end-of-life care, and more. But what if the very facility we turn to for medical attention makes life a life-threatening error?
That was the unfortunate case for a resident of a Minnesota Golden Living Facility. The resident, with a history of stroke and atrial fibrillation, had been living at Golden Living in Hopkins, MN for several weeks. The unnamed resident was on long-term therapy with Warfarin – an anticoagulant. In October of 2015, an LPN made a transcribing error and placed the Warfarin order on another resident’s record. The unnamed resident did not receive their daily dose of Warfarin for nine days, and the error went unnoticed amongst the medical staff.
The resident was sent to a hospital but died shortly after due to a large ischemic stroke and respiratory failure. What seemed like a small medication error, led to a devastating and preventable death.
Medical professionals are trained to act carefully and ensure unnecessary errors don’t occur. When they don’t meet this standard terrible consequences can occur.
If you or a loved one have suffered at the expense of the wrong medication due to a doctor or other health care professional’s error, you may have the right to compensation. Contact Hampton & King today to discuss a potential wrong medication lawsuit. We can help you get the justice you deserve.
Table of Contents
What Are Medication Errors Anyway?
When many of us think of medication errors, we think of the pharmacy giving us the wrong dosage, or the wrong bottle of medicine. But medication errors aren’t limited to the pharmacy.
Here are some common medication/prescription errors that occur:
Administering The Wrong Medication
In 2017, an Air Force veteran Ralph Keogh went to a VA medical center in South Carolina for nausea and vomiting. Instead of being given Filgrastim, the veteran was administered Pegfilgtastim. The wrong medication led to pulmonary toxicity and the death of the veteran after 11 days.
This error occurs when a medical professional gives a patient a completely different medicine than the one needed.
Administering The Wrong Dosage
So the medical staff have been administering you the correct medication. But what if they’re giving you too much of it, or too little? A simple error in placing a decimal point can make the difference between receiving a hundred times more (or less) of a medicine.
Not Administering A Necessary Medication
Remember the story of our unnamed resident in a living facility? It’s the case of not administering a patient necessary medication. When a patient’s life is dependent on a specific medication, but they aren’t given it, their illness/injury can get worse. And in the case of our unnamed resident, it could lead to a tragic death.
Prescribing A Medication The Patient Is Allergic To
It is a physician’s duty to thoroughly check a patient’s medical history to look for any allergies. They should also conduct their own patient history to rule out any allergies. If a doctor administers a medication that a patient is allergic to, it can make matters worse instead of helping the patient heal.
Mislabeling A Medication
Mislabeling a medication can result in a patient taking a completely different prescription, or a different dosage. This can lead to severe injuries.
Prescribing A Medication That Won’t Interact Well With Current Medications
Let’s say your doctor does everything right in prescribing the correct medication with the correct dosage. But what the physician failed to do is check how the new medicine would interact with your existing prescriptions. Some medications don’t mix well at all and can lead to more harm than good.
Not Warning About Possible Side Effects
Warning a patient about possible side effects can be the job of the doctor, nurse, or pharmacist. Patients should be informed of what side effects can occur while taking specific medications.
Providing Medication Without Adequate Instructions
Certain medications don’t work well if you consume specific foods or perform specific daily tasks. When prescribing a medication, the medical professional should tell you exactly how to take it, when to take it, and what not to do while taking it.
Any of these medication errors can result in serious harm or even death to a patient.
How To File A Wrong Medication Lawsuit
More than 131 million people use prescription drugs in the United States. That’s over 66% of all adults. Of all the prescriptions being written and administered, errors are bound to occur. Sometimes these errors can lead to absolutely nothing – no harm, no damage. But in many cases, patients suffer preventable injuries. And if that happens, compensation could be available if a wrong medication lawsuit is filed.
Given the wrong medication alone is not enough to receive a wrong medication lawsuit settlement. What you have to show is that a medication error led to unnecessary injuries or worsened an illness. And what’s more important? The medication error was due to a medical professional’s negligence.
Proving negligence is not easy. That’s why it’s best to speak to a professional attorney who has experience with medical malpractice cases.
Here is what your claim must show:
- Your medical provider had a duty to provide you with proper care. This includes administering the correct medication, with the correct dosage.
- There was a breach of duty. Did the medical staff not pursue any allergies to a medication? Were staff members careless when transcribing the medicine?
- The pain/harm you sustained was because of your provider’s negligence.
- All the damages you suffered because of the neglect, including pain and suffering.
What You Need To Do Before Filing Your Claim
You know what your case needs to show, but what should you do before you file?
You’ll want to be adequately prepared before filing any medical malpractice claim. That means gathering all the necessary information related to your case. This includes:
- Medical documents (including lab results, x-rays, etc.)
- Medical bills. You’ll want to include them in your claim.
- All communication that took place between you and your provider
- Your medications/prescriptions
CONTACT AN ATTORNEY
Handling a medical malpractice case on your own is a difficult feat. Having the right team of attorneys by your side can help you get the justice, and compensation, you deserve.
Medical malpractice cases usually have a very strict statute of limitations. You usually have two years to file your claim. If you pass this statute of limitations, you might not receive any compensation.
Our health is our most important asset. Sometimes life takes its course and we are dealt with medical issues that are beyond our control. But suffering at the hands of a medication error that occurs from negligence? That’s not okay. We understand the devastation medication errors can bring into your life, or the life of loved ones. That’s why we are committed to stand by your side throughout a wrong medication lawsuit. Contact us for an initial consultation. It’s on us.