Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or other medical professional acts negligently and it results in harm to a patient. This includes when a patient suffers harm from a medication error.
A medication error can happen when the medication is prescribed, when it is entered into a computer system, when the drug is prepared or dispensed or when the drug is given to or taken by a patient. Medication errors can cause life-threatening situations, hospitalizations, disabilities and even death.
Medication safety reminders
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) offers suggestions to keep consumers safe. These include ensuring consumers have clear and easy to read directions for prescribing, preparing and using medication.
The FDA also reviews container labels to help healthcare providers and consumers select the correct medication. The labels may use different colors, bold numbers and letters to specify the medication’s type and strength. The FDA also requires barcodes on certain medications to verify the correct medication and dose is provided to the consumer.
The FDA also encourages consumers to keep medications in their original containers, check medication labels and ask questions of their healthcare providers such as the name and purpose of the drug. It also notes that it may be helpful for consumers to notify their pharmacist of any over-the-counter medications they are taking in the event that those interact with their prescription medications.
While these safety reminders and efforts are helpful, providers and pharmacists are responsible for ensuring patients do not suffer harm from medication errors and their failure to do so can result in a medical malpractice claim.
An experienced attorney can provide representation to patients affected by medication errors.