Chicago Medication Error Lawyer
A medication error can mean the difference between life and death, especially for patients in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. A doctor-patient relationship consists of trust, regard, knowledge, and loyalty. Your loved one trusts that the medications given by a healthcare professional are the correct medications.
Medication errors occur when staff members give patients the wrong medication or dosage or simply fail to administer a medication prescribed by a doctor. When this happens, the patient is put at risk for adverse drug reactions or--at the very least--an ineffective treatment.
The medical malpractice lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC provide a free consultation to help families whose loved ones have suffered a severe injury or death due to a medication error in a hospital, outpatient clinic, or long-term care facility.
If you or a family member have suffered serious injuries due to a medication error, our personal injury attorneys are fully equipped to help you hold all at-fault parties accountable. Medical malpractice cases can be confusing and intimidating, take advantage of a free consultation for our medication error attorneys.
Contact Chicago nursing home abuse lawyers toll-free today at (888) 424-5757 or fill out this online contact form for a free case evaluation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our medical malpractice attorneys remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Common Types of Medication Errors
A medication error can occur at any part of the healthcare process. The following are some of the most common ways medication errors occur:
- A doctor prescribes a wrong drug
- The pharmacy dispenses the wrong drug
- A healthcare professional gives the wrong dosage
- A doctor prescribes the correct medicine, but the drug is defective
- A pharmacist puts an incorrect label on the medication bottle
- A doctor prescribes a drug without considering possible interactions with food and other medications
Why Do Medication Errors Happen?
Before a patient can be given medication, a doctor must assess their condition to determine what medicine and dosage will most likely be effective. The doctor will consider:
- The patient's health history
- Body mass index
- Drug allergies
- The diagnosed condition
The following are factors on how doctors could cause a medication error:
- 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 and ongoing medical care thoroughly
- Failure to consider possible drug-to-drug interactions
- Mixing up one patient's medical chart with another
- Incompetently prescribing the wrong drug due
- Giving a patient the wrong dosage of prescription drugs
Nurses and other patient care staff may also be responsible for medical malpractice. These professionals administer medication to patients admitted to a hospital or other healthcare facility.
In Chicago, a medication error can arise if a nurse commits any of the following:
- Incorrect administration of the drug
- Mixing up one patient's medication with another
- Failure to validate the medication order with the prescribing doctor
- Input errors in computer systems
- Collecting an incomplete medical history from the hospital patient
- Accidental or purposeful medication overdose
Pharmacists can also be held accountable for medical negligence for inpatient and outpatient prescriptions. A pharmacy error may result from:
- Misreading a doctor's prescription
- Mixing up similar-sounding drugs
- Dosage mislabeling causing medication overdose
- Dispensing one patient's medicine to another
- Input errors in computer systems
- Labeling errors
- Drug inventory errors
Liability of Other Medical Professionals
Other members of the healthcare team can also play a role in patient harm resulting from a medication error, including:
- A radiologist that created inaccurate test results
- A medical technologist that used the wrong method for a diagnostic test
- An anesthesiologist that administered an inappropriate drug
- A medical office worker caused a pharmacy error due to erroneous records
- A healthcare staff member noticed the medication error but did not do anything about it
All these parties may face a medical malpractice claim if they violate applicable medical standards of care. Call one of our medication malpractice attorneys at (888) 424-5757 for a free initial consultation to determine who can be held accountable.
Why Do Health Professionals Commit Medication Errors?
Aside from human error, there are plenty of other factors that contribute to medication errors. These include:
- Fast-paced hospital environments
- Inadequate staffing leads to high-stress workplaces
- Insufficient or improper training of medical staff
- Faulty computer systems
- Poor drug inventory systems
Although these factors may be out of a medical professional's control, they may still be partially liable for a medication error. If your loved one has suffered harm after receiving an incorrect dosage contact our medical malpractice attorneys for a free consultation.
Can Drug Manufacturers Be Held Accountable for My Medical Malpractice Claim?
Sometimes, medication errors result from defective or improperly labeled drugs. Under product liability law, drug manufacturers who fail to ensure the safety of their products may be held accountable for medication errors.
Drug manufacturers may also count as at-fault parties if they fail to:
- Provide sufficient warnings to patients and healthcare professionals
- Recall defective batches despite knowing the potential harm their products can cause to patients
- Use proper pharmaceutical packaging to ensure the safe transport and storage of drugs
- Prevent printing inconsistencies in drug packaging
Medication Errors in Nursing Homes
Medication management errors in nursing homes 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 staff
- Inadequate communication between co-workers
- Lack of safe tools to manage medication
- Lack of safety awareness among staff members
- Improper procedures
Nursing home residents are more prone to severe consequences of medication errors. Many elderly people depend on medication to manage their health conditions, and receiving the incorrect drug can lead to severe health effects, disability, or even death.
Possible Complications of Medication Errors
When a medication error occurs, the best-case scenario is when the patient experiences no side effects but receives no relief from the condition the drug is meant to treat. However, medication errors rarely inflict no adverse side effects on the patient, which can include:
- Worsening of the Condition: A patient's condition may become worse instead of better after receiving the wrong drug. In cases like this, the patient's health care team often has limited time to correct the error before worse complications arise.
- Severe Complications: Prescribing an inappropriate drug or administering the drug incorrectly can lead to severe--and potentially deadly--complications and preventable injuries, such as blood clots, extreme fatigue, vomiting, pain, and mental deterioration, among others.
- Drug Interactions: Food, dietary supplements, and other medications can affect the absorption and effectiveness of the drug prescribed. Failure to mitigate potential drug interactions (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, immunocompromised patients, and young children, are most at risk of fatal effects of medication errors.
Filing Medication Error or Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
Healthcare professionals owe a standard duty of care to all patients. Doctors are responsible for prescribing the correct drug, pharmacy staff must dispense the prescribed drug, 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 adverse health effects, injury, or even death. If this happens, you have the legal right to seek compensation for the damages you've suffered caused by the medical negligence of your healthcare provider.
Most medication errors are filed as medical malpractice lawsuits. You may file a product liability lawsuit if the drug manufacturer is at fault. Either way, having any of our affiliate medical malpractice attorneys to represent your case can help you recover the compensation you deserve.
Schedule a free consultation with a Chicago medication error lawyer before the statute of limitations runs out. In Illinois, you have two years from the date of the error or event to make your claim.
Who is Liable for Medication Errors?
Any medical team member may be held responsible for your medical malpractice claim. Your lawyer can help you hold negligent parties accountable, which may include:
- Your prescribing doctor
- The nurse or patient care staff member that gave you the wrong dosage or medication
- The nurse or patient care staff member that used the wrong method of drug administration
- The pharmacy worker that gave you the incorrect medication or mislabeled the packaging
- Other medical professionals that contributed to the medication error, such as anesthesiologists
Plaintiffs of medical malpractice lawsuits must prove that their healthcare providers are liable for medical errors resulting in preventable injuries or adverse health effects.
In general, you must prove:
- The defendant (healthcare provider) owed you a standard of care
- The defendant breached said standard of care, resulting in medication error
- The medication error directly caused your damages
You may also need medical experts to establish liability in your medical malpractice case. Medical experts can help you prove that the negligent healthcare providers failed to act in a way that another provider in the same circumstances would.
For example, suppose your prescribing doctor gives you 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.
Whether the medication error resulted in minor side effects or devastating injuries, you could hold negligent parties accountable for the damages their medical errors caused you. These damages may include:
- Medical Bills: Prescription errors often lead to patient harm, which, in turn, requires even more medical treatment. If given the wrong medication, you could seek compensation for surgery, hospitalization, ongoing medical care, and anticipated medical bills.
- Disability: In worst cases, a medical error can lead to temporary or permanent disability. Either way, a 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: A medication error can cause physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish for patients and their families.
- Loss of Income: If you miss work after being given an incorrect medication (or lose your job entirely), you could also seek compensation for lost income. If your provider's medication mistakes reduce your earning potential, you might also be able to sue for lost future income.
- Wrongful Death: Some medication error victims suffer devastating injuries that lead to death. Families who’s loved one died due to their provider's medical mistakes could sue the prescribing doctor or other medical professionals for wrongful death damages (burial and funeral costs, costs of medical treatment before your loved one passed, loss of consortium, loss of financial support, etc.)
The Role of Medication Error Attorneys
In Chicago, medication error can happen to anyone, it is not always easy to trace where the mistake occurred and who is at fault for the negligent act.
Your Chicago medical malpractice attorneys can help you:
- 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 medical standards, resulting in the medication error
- Collect evidence of the medical mistakes that resulted in your damages
- File your medical malpractice lawsuit
- Determine the extent and value of your damages
- Negotiate with insurance companies, if necessary
The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers have years of experience handling medication error lawsuits. If you have been a victim of someone's negligent act resulting in a medication error, call our Chicago office at (888) 424-5757 for a free consultation today.
Justice For Chicago Medical Negligence Victims Under Medical Malpractice Law
All healthcare professionals owe a duty of care to every patient. If a doctor, nurse, or another healthcare staff member breaches this duty and causes patient harm due to medication error, they could be held liable for the patient and their family's losses.
Medical mistakes are often preventable, and no patient should suffer due to the medical negligence of another--especially not a medical professional. Unfortunately, medication and other medical errors remain the third leading cause of death in the US.
If you or a loved one were given incorrect medication due to a hospital or pharmacy error, contact our team of affiliate Chicago medical malpractice attorneys today to discuss filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Our personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC defend medication error victims using decades of expertise and aggressive litigation strategies. Schedule a free initial consultation with our Chicago law firm by calling (888) 424-5757.