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Top reasons why medication errors occur

On Behalf of | Apr 17, 2023 | Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice can occur in a lot of ways. Sometimes doctors fail to make a proper diagnosis in a timely fashion, or they make an improper cut during a surgical operation. In other instances, doctors and nurses are responsible for medication errors.

Regardless of how medical negligence occurs, victims are oftentimes left to pick up the pieces. This can be completely overwhelming, as this malpractice can leave an individual with a worsened medical condition, preventable pain, and avoidable expenses.

While you might be able to recover compensation for your losses through a medical malpractice lawsuit, you’ll need to make sure that you have strong evidence to support your position. This starts with understanding how these errors are made.

How do medication errors occur?

If you were harmed by a medication error, then you probably have a lot of question. Your first might be “how did this happen?” There are various ways that medication errors can occur, including:

  • Wrong prescription
  • Wrong dosage
  • Administering the wrong medication to a patient
  • Improperly advising the patient of the effects of taking a medication
  • Failing to identify adverse reactions associated with providing multiple medications
  • Failing to take a patient’s medical history into account when prescribing or administering a medication

But even things as seemingly minor as poor handwriting and miscommunication can prove disastrous for patients. Given that many medications have similar names, medical professionals can easily make a deadly mistake if they’re not crystal clear when talking about which medication should be provided to a patient.

Other contributing factors

There may be other factors that contribute to a medication error, too. For example, your medical professionals might be overworked and fatigued, which can more easily result in mistakes. This is especially true in many hospital settings where providers are woefully understaffed.

Although medical records are now primarily kept in electronic format, system-wide issues can still lead to errors, and so can outright carelessness. When it comes to the latter, doctors and nurses who are overworked tend to multitask, which can cause them to make unintentional, albeit dangerous, errors that put you or your loved one at risk.

What should you do if you’ve been harmed by a medication error?

If you think that you’ve been hurt by a medication error, then you might want to consider taking legal action against the medical professional responsible for your condition, as well as against their employer. If you can succeed with a medical malpractice claim, then you might find accountability, deter future negligent behavior, and recover the compensation that you need.

But you’ll need evidence to support your claim, which will come from a lot of places. You’ll need your medical records, documentation and testimony pertaining to your damages, and perhaps even an expert opinion. The thought of getting all of that information together might be stressful, but this isn’t something that you have to worry about doing on your own.