Chicago Medication Errors Lawyer
Medication errors occur when the nursing home or care facility staff give patients the wrong medication, incorrect dosage, or fail to administer the doctor's prescription medications. Medication errors can often lead to harrowing injuries and wrongful death, especially for patients in nursing homes and other healthcare facilities.
Yet, dispensing the wrong medication is a preventable error that healthcare providers can correct using more diligence. The tragedy is that medication and other medical errors remain the third leading cause of death in the US.
Nursing home patients should not have to suffer the consequences of the medical negligence of any medical professional.
The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC provide a free consultation to help families whose loved ones have suffered a severe injury or death due to medication errors in nursing homes, hospitals, outpatient clinics, or long-term care facilities.
We can assist you in filing a medical malpractice claim to recover financial compensation for damages. Contact our Chicago nursing home abuse lawyers toll-free at (888) 424-5757 or fill out the online contact form for a free case review.
Why is the Wrong Medication Dispensed to Nursing Home Residents?
Medication standards regulate that medical health practitioners must adhere to specific protocols regarding the administration of medication to prevent a medication error. Ignoring these protocols can cause serious injury to residents and, in some cases, even lead to the patient's death.
Medication Error Factors of a Healthcare Professional
The US Food and Drug Administration receives over 100,000 reports of medication errors each year. A moment of inattention can lead to dire consequences when prescribing medication or dispensing the wrong medication.
The following patient factors should be considered when prescribing medications:
- Current and past medications, medical records, and health history
- Body mass index
- Drug allergies
- Diagnosed condition
Annually, there are 7,000 to 9,000 Americans who die from medical errors. When a healthcare professional such as a doctor, makes medication errors, the following can be contributing factors:
- Misdiagnosis of the patient's condition
- Incorrect reading of a patient's test results
- Illegible handwriting leading to prescription errors
- Failure to assess the patient's medical history
- Failure to consider possible drug-to-drug interactions and resistance to sublingual medications
- Mixing up one patient's medical chart with another
- Administering the incorrect prescription drug or the wrong dose
An estimated one to five doses of medication in a patient's hospital visit is administered incorrectly by staff. Factors that give rise to nurse's medication errors are:
- Incorrect administration of drugs and sublingual medications
- Hospital staff members mix up one patient's or resident's medications with another
- Failure to validate the medication order with the prescribing doctor
- Errors linked to data capture with computer systems
- Collecting an incomplete medical history from the hospital patient
- Accidental or purposeful medication overdose
- Failure to dispense the correct dosage of prescribed medications
An estimated 1.5% of the prescriptions in a hospital setting have dispensing mistakes, and factors that are instrumental in the medication errors of pharmacists are -
- Misreading a doctor's prescription
- Mixing up similar-sounding prescription drugs
- Dosage mislabeling causing medication overdose
- Dispensing the wrong prescription
- Dispensing the wrong form of medication
- Input errors in computer systems
- Labeling errors
- Drug inventory errors
Medical Malpractice Liability of a Medical Professional
The cost of patients that medical errors have injured is over $40 billion each year in the US. Liability can include other healthcare professionals in a medical malpractice lawsuit, such as:
- Radiologists creating inaccurate test results
- Medical technologists using the wrong method for a diagnostic test
- Anesthesiologists administering an inappropriate drug
- Medical office workers causing a pharmacy error due to erroneous records
- A healthcare professional being aware of but not acting on the medication error
Reasons for Most Common Medication Errors in Nursing Facilities
Medication management errors in care facilities are increasing at an alarming rate. According to a study published by BioMed Central, most nursing home medication errors are associated with human limitations and technical deficiencies, including:
- Delegation of medication administration to non-licensed nurses and staff
- Nursing facility staff not following medication administration guidelines
- A nursing staff member not properly trained in the Medication Safety Protocols of nursing facilities
- Inadequate communication between nursing facility co-workers
- Lack of safe tools to manage medication in nursing facilities
- Lack of safety awareness among staff members in nursing facilities
- Understaffing in nursing facilities
- Staff members following improper procedures in administering medications in nursing facilities
- The carelessness of staff members with medication management
Many elderly people depend on medication prescribed by a doctor to manage their health conditions. When a medication error occurs, and they receive the wrong medication, it can lead to severe health effects, disability, or even death, constituting nursing home abuse and medical malpractice.
Possible Complications of Common Medication Errors in Nursing Homes
When nursing home medication errors occur, the best-case scenario is when patients or residents experience no side effects but receive no relief from the condition the drug is meant to treat.
However, residents often experience adverse side effects from medication errors, including:
- Worsening of the condition: A nursing home resident or patient's condition may become worse instead of better after receiving the wrong drug. In such cases, the patient's healthcare team and nursing staff often have limited time to correct the error before more severe complications arise.
- Severe complications: Prescribing an inappropriate drug or incorrect administration of the medication can lead to severe errors and serious injuries, such as a blood clot, extreme fatigue, vomiting, pain, and mental deterioration, among others.
- Drug interactions: Food, dietary supplements, and other medications can affect the prescription's absorption and effectiveness. Failure to mitigate potential drug interaction (drug-to-food-or-beverage, drug-to-drug, drug-to-dietary-supplement interactions) can lead to unexpected side effects, even if the doctor prescribed the correct medication.
- Death: Medication errors are the third leading cause of death in the US. At-risk groups, such as older adults, immuno-compromised patients, and young children, are most at risk of fatal effects of medication errors.
If a nursing home has not given you proper care and you have suffered a medication error, a personal injury attorney from our law office can assist you in recovering compensation for your injuries.
Filing Medication Error or Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
Healthcare professionals owe a standard duty of care to all patients and residents in a nursing facility. Doctors are responsible for prescribing the correct drug, pharmacy staff must dispense the prescribed medication, and patient care staff is to administer that drug using the proper dosage and method.
Medication errors committed by any healthcare staff member can lead to catastrophic adverse health effects, injury, or even death. Victims have the legal right to seek compensation in medication error cases for the damages caused by a healthcare provider's medical negligence.
Most medication errors are filed as medical malpractice lawsuits. Illinois medication error cases allow victims two years from the date of the error or event to file a claim.
You may file a product liability lawsuit if the drug manufacturer is at fault. Either way, schedule a free case review with a Chicago nursing home neglect lawyer before the statute of limitations runs out.
Our medical malpractice attorneys can represent your medical malpractice lawsuit and help you recover the financial compensation for your loss and damages.
Liability for Violating Patient Safety with Medication Errors in Care Facilities
Any medical team member may be held responsible for a nursing home medical malpractice claim. A Chicago medication error lawyer can help hold negligent parties accountable, which may include:
- The prescribing doctor
- The nurse or nursing home staff member that gave the wrong dosage or medication
- The nurse or nursing home staff member that used the wrong method of drug administration
- The pharmacy worker that gave the incorrect medication or mislabeled the packaging
- Other medical professionals that contributed to medication errors, such as anesthesiologists
- The medical facility
Proving Liability with Nursing Home Medication Errors
Plaintiffs of medical malpractice lawsuits must prove that their healthcare providers are liable for medication errors resulting in preventable injuries or adverse health effects.
In general, a plaintiff must prove the following in a medication error lawsuit:
- The defendant (healthcare provider) owed a standard of care.
- The defendant breached said standard of care, violating patient safety and resulting in medication errors.
- The medication errors directly caused damage, such as antipsychotic drugs causing strokes and fatalities.
Medical experts can give testimony to establish liability in a medical malpractice case. They can help prove that the negligent healthcare providers failed to act in a way that another provider in the same circumstances would.
For example, if a prescribing nursing home doctor gives the wrong dosage due to an avoidable medical error. In that case, a medical expert can show why another doctor operating within the same standard of care would not have made the same error.
If you are the victim of a medication error, contact a medical malpractice attorney to assist you in filing a medication error lawsuit. Our experienced attorneys can recover compensation for your injuries through a medical malpractice case.
Whether a medication error resulted in minor side effects or devastating injuries, negligent parties can be held accountable for failing to uphold the applicable medical standards of care.
The damages caused by their medical mistake may include the following:
- Medical expenses: Prescription errors often lead to patient harm, which, in turn, requires even more medical treatment. If given the wrong medication, victims can recover compensation for surgery, hospitalization, ongoing medical care, and anticipated medical bills.
- Disability: In the worst cases, a medical error can lead to temporary or permanent disability. Either way, a nursing home resident or hospital patient that suffers a disability at the hands of negligent professionals could sue for disability-related costs, such as in-home care, mobility aids, and rehabilitation therapy.
- Pain and suffering: Medication errors can cause physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish for nursing home patients and their families.
- Wrongful death: Some nursing home victims of medication errors suffer devastating injuries that lead to death. Family can pursue financial aid with wrongful death damages for burial and funeral costs, costs of medical treatment before your loved one passed, loss of consortium, and loss of financial support.
The Role of Medication Error Attorneys
Nursing home medication errors can happen to anyone, and it is not always easy to trace where the mistake occurred and who is at fault for the nursing home neglect.
A Chicago nursing home abuse and medical malpractice attorneys can help with the following:
- Determine the parties who may be held accountable under medical malpractice law
- Establish liability of the at-fault parties who failed to act under applicable medication standards, resulting in the medication error
- Collect evidence of the medical mistakes that resulted in damages
- File your medical malpractice or nursing home abuse lawsuit
- Determine the extent and value of damages
- Negotiate with insurance companies, if necessary
The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC have years of experience handling medication error lawsuits.
If you have been a victim of nursing home abuse or negligence resulting in a medication error, contact a medical malpractice attorney from our Chicago office at (888) 424-5757 for a free initial consultation to obtain compensation for damages.
Justice for Chicago Medication Negligence Victims with Medical Malpractice Cases
Despite all healthcare professionals owing a duty of high-quality care to every nursing facility patient, not all nursing facilities enforce the care.
If a doctor, nurse, or another healthcare provider fails or breaches their duty and causes patients in nursing facilities harm due to a medication error, they could be held liable for the patient’s and their family's losses.
Contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC at (888) 424-5757 or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation. We can assist you with gathering evidence and obtaining your medical records.
A personal injury attorney from our law office can seek fair compensation and justice on your behalf for the damage caused by the responsible parties.
All confidential or sensitive information shared with our nursing home medical malpractice attorneys from our law firm remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
We service clients from Cook County, Lake County, Chicago, and anywhere in the US clients need our expertise.