When patients are prescribed medication from a licensed professional, they expect to have their symptoms or condition treated without any unwarned complications. Unfortunately, medication errors and mistakes involving medicine are common throughout the state, often resulting in severe illness or even death.
In many cases, the patient is either prescribed the wrong medication, given the wrong medicine or provided with the wrong dosage. These include all mistakes involving prescription drugs, over-the-counter products, vitamins, minerals, or herbal supplements.
If you or a loved one was injured, contracted an illness, or was otherwise harmed due to a prescribed or doctor-administered drug, reach out to a Michigan medication errors lawyer for help.
A compassionate attorney at Buckfire Law Firm could answer your questions, explain your legal options, and guide you through the ensuing claims process to pursue compensation.
- Common medication errors and mistakes
- How to prevent medication errors
- Medication mistake lawsuit settlement example
- Signs of a medication allergy
Most Common Medication Mistakes
When taking prescribed medicine, it is important to understand how complications arise.
While there are numerous ways that injuries and illnesses can happen from medication errors, the most common mistakes include:
- Confusing two medications with similar names—this can happen if the doctor’s handwriting is illegible on the prescription, the pharmacy gives a patient the wrong drug, or enters wrong information into their system.
- Taking two or more drugs that interact with each other—when being prescribed a medication by a doctor, they should know not to prescribe two drugs that will not interact together properly. Unfortunately, complications still arise.
- Overdosing on medications that have the same properties—different drugs may be prescribed to treat multiple conditions. However, if the drugs all have the same combined effect, this increases the risk of an overdose. This might also happen if a patient does not realize a brand name drug they are taking is the same as a generic brand they were prescribed before.
- Taking the wrong dosage of medication—medicine is prescribed in a variety of units of measure that are usually abbreviated or symbolized. A misplaced decimal place or a misread dosage can cause a serious problem to a patient. Furthermore, a pharmacy can sometimes make the mistake of reading the prescription wrong or a doctor may accidentally prescribe the wrong amount.
- Mixing with alcohol—whether a patient thinks it is okay to have a drink with their medication or if there was no warning sign on the medicine, dangerous interactions can arise between alcohol and medicine.
- Not knowing the interaction between medicine and diet—when being prescribed a new prescription, a patient should always ask their doctor if the medication should be taken with food, without food, or if there are particular dietary issues they should know about.
- Failing to adjust medication dosages—It is important for each person to be prescribed the proper dosage for their medical history. For example, if a patient has lost a kidney or their liver, the dosage of medication they are taking should be decreased.
- Taking a medication that is not age-appropriate—Each person’s body process medications differently as they age, meaning certain drugs that cause side effects such as dementia or dizziness should not be taken by an older person. Due to this fact, doctors should be careful when prescribing a medication to an older individual, particularly over the age of 65.
For these and other common errors, consulting with a knowledgeable Michigan medication errors lawyer could prove to be beneficial. This is especially true if a patient has already suffered a worsened condition and is looking to understand who is to blame.
Preventing Medicine Errors
Hospitals are now using the latest technology—such as electronically written prescriptions—to try to avoid the aforementioned medication errors. Unfortunately, preventing these mistakes is virtually impossible due to human error, mistakes, or carelessness.
As a patient, it is always recommended to understand what prescription drugs are being taken and what the symptoms of those medications are. It is essential to always know and inform a doctor of what prescriptions a patient is currently on when being prescribed a new drug.
Furthermore, any past health problems a person has had, as well as any prior complications with certain medicine, should all be revealed to a treating doctor or other medical professionals.
Medication Error Lawsuit Case Study
An elderly patient went to the hospital emergency department with chest pain. She was admitted with a diagnosis of unstable angina.
The doctors prescribed her several medications, including Lisinopril, Lopressor, Valium, Norco, and Morphine.
Shortly after, she was noted to have severe hypotension, confusion, and slurred speech. This resulted in multi-organ failure and a stroke.
She never regained full function. The case settled for $500,000.
Signs of a Medication Allergy
Another common issue that can arise from medication errors is when a patient is allergic to a prescribed or doctor-administered drug. Having a drug allergy to a medication that was just taken or administered can lead to any number of further complications.
For example, anaphylaxis happens when a patient suffers shock from a drug allergy. This can result in the tightening of the airway or trouble breathing, a severe drop in blood pressure, or dizziness. These symptoms will usually occur within minutes of the drug being administered and are considered a medical emergency. Other common types of medication allergies include:
- Skin rashes
- Constriction of the airways
- Swelling of tissues
- A decrease in blood pressure
Prolonging the treatment for any of these symptoms could result in life-threatening injuries. However, along with seeking additional medical care, it might also be important to consult a well-versed Michigan lawyer to determine if a doctor is at fault for a medication error.
How a Michigan Medication Errors Attorney Might Help
When a care professional’s negligence causes you harm, you should not have to shoulder the costs of lost wages, medical bills, and other damages alone.
If you or a loved one suffered adverse side effects or believe your worsened condition is due to a wrongful prescription, dosage error, or other mistakes, consider reaching out to a hardworking and caring Michigan medication errors lawyer for help.
By enlisting a legal professional at Buckfire Law Firm, you could focus on recovering your losses with the knowledge that you have legal counsel to help with each step.
To learn more, call today to schedule a consultation.
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