Medication errors are one of the most common forms of medical negligence and put thousands of patients’ lives at risk every year. When medical personnel prescribe the wrong dosage of a medication or administer the incorrect medication to you or a loved one, resulting in illness, injury, or death, you may be eligible to pursue a claim for any damages sustained.
Whenever medication is prescribed or administered to patients, it is the responsibility of the doctors and other medical providers to take all necessary precautions to avoid causing harm. At Salenger, Sack, Kimmel & Bavaro, LLP, our medication error attorneys in New York have secured millions in settlements and verdicts for patients who were wrongfully injured.
Working with the top medical professionals, we know which standard policies doctors and nurses should be following when it comes to medications/prescriptions and will fight for the compensation you deserve for the quality of care you did not receive.
If you or a loved one suspects you may have been a victim of a medication error while under the care of a doctor, hospital, pharmacist, or medical center, call our New York medication negligence lawyers at (800) 572-7246 or contact us online for a free consultation.
Examples of Prescription Medication Negligence
Pharmaceutical drugs are powerful substances capable of sparking many adverse reactions when misused.
Patients are most susceptible to injury when medical professionals make mistakes such as:
- Providing the wrong medication
- Administering the wrong dosage
- Forgetting to administer medication
- Neglecting to prescribe a medication
- Administering medication to the wrong patient
- Administering a drug incorrectly
- Failing to account for the allergic reactions
- Prescribing a harmful combination of medications
Any of these mistakes can cause catastrophic losses to a patient’s health, including wrongful death.
Types of Medication Errors
Hospital policies and procedures are created to help reduce medical mistakes in care and protect the health of patients. When these protocols are neglected or forgotten, it is the patient and their family who suffer the consequences. Very few medication errors are intentional, but that does not excuse the life-altering harm they can cause.
There are several types of medication errors that put patients at risk:
- Knowledge-based errors: When medical professionals are not fully informed about the drug they are prescribing or administering, or they are not informed about the patient to whom they are giving the medication
- Rule-based errors: When rules and procedures are not adequately followed in administering, dispensing, or prescribing medication
- Action-based errors: Mistakes such as picking up the wrong bottle of medication, slipping when administering medication, or misreading correctly prescribed medication labels and scripts
- Memory-based errors: Lapses in judgment such as forgetting an allergy, forgetting to record last medication given, or forgetting a specific regimen of medication the patient requires
All these types of errors should have specific protocols set in place to prevent them from occurring. Our New York medication error lawyers will thoroughly investigate the injury or illness caused by the medication error to determine what type of protocols may not have been followed and what should have been done to protect you or your loved one from unnecessary harm.
Common Causes of Adverse Drug Events
There are many different causes of adverse drug reactions, including:
- Use of expired products
- Use of medication for incorrect duration
- Incorrect preparation of medications
- Incorrect strength of medications
- Incorrect rate of administration
- Incorrect timing of scheduled doses
- Incorrect dose of medication
- Incorrect dosage form (e.g., immediate-release vs. extended-release)
- Known allergens or contraindications
- Illegible writing on medication orders
According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, distraction by doctors, pharmacists, hospital personnel, nurses, or other healthcare providers accounts for nearly 75% of all medication errors.
How Common Are Prescription Medication Errors?
Prescription medication errors are a serious concern in the United States, and their potential consequences range from minor discomfort to lethal outcomes. While data on the exact prevalence of medication errors vary, most estimates suggest that they are quite common and represent a significant threat to patient safety.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adverse drug events cause approximately 1.3 million emergency department visits every year. Additionally, studies estimate that 7,000 to 9,000 deaths are caused by medication errors annually. Medication errors can lead to increased medical costs, prolonged hospital stays, and decreased quality of life for patients.
To address this issue, healthcare providers need to work to improve medication safety and reduce the risks of medication errors through measures such as implementing error prevention strategies, increasing education and training for healthcare professionals, and encouraging better communication between patients, caregivers, and providers.
How to Prove Fault in Medication Error Claims
Medications affect every patient differently. In some cases, the side effects of a drug can be completely unpredictable. Because these circumstances do occur, proving medical negligence when it comes to medication errors can be complicated, but not impossible.
To file a successful medication error claim, the following information must be proven:
- Failure to provide quality care: To prove a medication error was made, you must be able to prove that the doctor, pharmacist, anesthesiologist, or other health care professional failed to provide a quality level of care. This means showing that if the health care professional did not follow protocols or use all the knowledge they possessed as a skilled medical professional, you would not have become injured or ill.
- Actual cause of harm: This means proving that the act of a health care professional prescribing, administering, or filling medications inaccurately or negligently was a cause of injuries or illnesses you suffered.
Medication error claims are complex and require a great deal of skill to secure a favorable outcome. For over 35 years, our team at Salenger, Sack, Kimmel & Bavaro, LLP has been successfully representing victims of medication errors both through litigation and in trial. We provide the care and support our clients deserve after enduring unnecessary pain and suffering from medication negligence and compile a comprehensive case to include all financial damages sustained from the preventable medical mistake.
Let Us Advocate for Your Health
The physical, emotional, and financial losses experienced after a medication error can be traumatic and expensive. Let our winning team of prescription malpractice lawyers in New York provide you with the exceptional representation you deserve and allow us to stand up for your rights against the health care professionals and institutions that caused you harm.
“We recommend Salenger, Sack, Kimmel & Bavaro, LLP , Justin Curtis and his team a hundred percent!” - Isabel A.
“Thank you Deborah Kurtz for being my attorney and fighting for me” - Edwin S.
“Deborah Kurtz is a straight shooter and plays no games all while maintaining the highest level of professionalism” - Joe M.