Medication Errors Every Move Matters

Orlando Medication Error Attorney

Medication errors are probably one of the most frequent, and probably underestimated, errors related to patient care. Medication errors may be caused by an improper prescription, drug selection, dosage or administration. Fortunately, many prescription errors result in brief or minor side effects. However, administration of the wrong medication or dosage can cause catastrophic injury or death.

Orlando malpractice lawyer Michael Barszcz, M.D., J.D. has been helping Florida residents recover compensation for injuries caused by medication errors for more than 24 years. He chose to create his own firm years ago in order to offer his clients the highest quality, most personalized medical malpractice representation possible.

Michael Barszcz, M.D., J.D. graduated from Brown University Medical School and the University of Florida College of Law.  He is an attorney who is also a medical doctor. His medical education enables him to evaluate medical records and medication charts with a sophisticated eye.  As a result, Mr. Barszcz has the ability to spot medical errors that other attorneys may miss.

Mr. Barszcz has used his medical-legal education and experience as a civil trial attorney to recover multi-million dollar settlement s and verdicts for his clients. If you have been seriously injured and need experienced legal representation, please contact us now.

What is a Medication Error?

Medication errors can result in serious injury or worsen an existing condition. An incorrectly prescribed medication may adversely interact with other drugs and cause life threatening injuries. Furthermore, the administration of an improper drug usually results in the failure to administer the prescribed, necessary medication for an existing illness. Furthermore, severe or allergic reactions to incorrect drugs or dosages can result in serious injury or death.

Here are some common types of medication errors:

  • Prescribing Errors: These occur when the healthcare provider makes mistakes in prescribing medication. This could include prescribing the wrong medication, the wrong dosage, or the wrong frequency of administration. Factors contributing to prescribing errors may include illegible handwriting, confusion between drugs with similar names, or lack of knowledge about a patient's allergies or medical history.
  • Administration Errors: These occur when the medication is administered incorrectly to the patient. This could involve giving the wrong medication, the wrong dose, administering it via the wrong route (e.g., orally instead of intravenously), or at the wrong time. Administration errors can happen due to distractions, miscommunication, or lack of proper training.
  • Dispensing Errors: These occur when the medication is incorrectly prepared or labeled by the pharmacist or pharmacy technician. This could include dispensing the wrong medication, the wrong dosage form (e.g., liquid instead of tablets), or the wrong quantity. Dispensing errors may result from misinterpretation of prescription orders, similar packaging of medications, or distractions in the pharmacy setting.
  • Documentation Errors: These occur when there are inaccuracies or omissions in documenting medication-related information in patient records. Failure to document medication administration, changes in medication orders, or patient allergies can lead to misunderstandings and subsequent errors in care.
  • Monitoring Errors: These occur when healthcare providers fail to adequately monitor the patient's response to medication therapy. This could involve not monitoring for potential side effects, drug interactions, or therapeutic effectiveness. Monitoring errors may result from inadequate follow-up, lack of awareness of monitoring guidelines, or failure to communicate effectively among healthcare team members.
  • Communication Errors: These occur due to breakdowns in communication among healthcare providers, patients, and caregivers. Poor communication can lead to misunderstandings about medication instructions, allergies, or changes in medication regimens. This can happen during handoffs between healthcare settings, such as when a patient transitions from the hospital to home care.
  • Patient-related Errors: These occur when patients or caregivers misunderstand or misuse medications. This could include taking the wrong dose, skipping doses, or taking medications at the wrong time. Patient-related errors can stem from inadequate patient education, language barriers, cognitive impairments, or limited health literacy.

Before you receive any medicine, your physician, nurse and pharmacist should be certain of the prescribed medication, dosage, frequency and route of administration. Your medical condition and any potential allergies should be thoroughly researched and understood by your health care providers. Your medication history and files should be continuously updated so that your doctors, nurses and pharmacist are aware of your medication history and the potential for adverse side effects or dangerous drug interactions.

Who is Liable for a Medication Error?

Determining liability for a medication error can depend on various factors, including the specific circumstances of the error, the individuals involved, and the applicable laws and regulations. Here's a breakdown of who might be held liable for a medication error:

  • Healthcare Providers: Healthcare professionals directly involved in prescribing, administering, or monitoring medication can be held liable for errors. This includes physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians. Liability may arise if they deviate from the standard of care expected in their profession, such as by making mistakes in prescribing, administering, or monitoring medications.
  • Healthcare Facilities: Hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities may be held liable for medication errors that occur within their premises or as a result of their policies, procedures, or organizational culture. If the facility's systems or protocols contribute to the error, or if there is a failure to adequately train or supervise staff, the facility could be held liable.
  • Pharmaceutical Companies: In some cases, pharmaceutical companies may be held liable for medication errors if there are defects in the design, manufacturing, or labeling of the medication that contribute to the error. This could include issues such as unclear labeling, inadequate warnings about potential side effects or drug interactions, or faulty packaging that leads to confusion.
  • Third-party Vendors: If third-party vendors or contractors are involved in medication-related processes, such as electronic prescribing systems or medication dispensing machines, they could potentially be held liable if their products or services contribute to errors.
  • Regulatory Agencies: Regulatory agencies responsible for overseeing healthcare standards and practices may also play a role in addressing medication errors and holding parties accountable. They may investigate incidents, issue citations or fines, or implement corrective actions to prevent future errors.
  • Individuals or Caregivers: Patients or caregivers who contribute to medication errors through actions such as providing inaccurate information about medications, failing to follow instructions, or administering medications incorrectly may also bear some responsibility, although liability in such cases may be more complex.

You may contact the Law Offices of Michael Barszcz, M.D., J.D., in Winter Park, Florida, if you have been injured due to a medication error. To learn more about medication errors or other examples of medical malpractice, please contact our firm today for a free consultation.

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    Failure to diagnose and treat pre-eclampsia leads to death of mother.

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