Prescription Malpractice and Medication Errors

In the coming year, it is estimated that at least half a million patients in the United States alone will be harmed in some way by a medical prescription error committed by their pharmacist, physician, or hospital and nursing home staff.

While these errors are often referred to as “prescription malpractice”, they fall under the laws of medical malpractice, with lawsuits being brought against the perpetrators by personal injury attorneys who specialize in handling prescription malpractice cases. These personal injury attorneys are referred to many different ways including “medical malpractice attorneys” or even “prescription malpractice attorneys”.

Just some of the injuries resulting from prescription malpractice can include: severe allergic reactions, a worsening course of illness, organ impairment or failure, emotional and mental impairment, and sudden death. Sadly, many of these tragic outcomes are avoidable when strict written polices and protocols are in place, and staff consistently adheres to those standards.

Healthcare professionals can prevent medication errors and prescription malpractice by following what is known as the “Five Rights” each and every time medication is administered to a patient. With the five rights, the healthcare professional must check to see if the following five things are right. Is it…

The right medication?

Many medications have very similar sounding and similarly spelled names. In addition, the print on very small vials of medication may be difficult to read.

The right patient?

The patient should be asked to identify their name and date of birth. The patient’s wristband should be checked as well.

The right dose?

An incorrect dosage of certain drugs which is increased by even the smallest amount can be deadly.

The right time?

Some medications must be given at exact intervals to be successful in treating an illness. Medications given off schedule could affect the results of diagnostic tests, leading to misdiagnosis and mistreatment.

The right route?

The staff member must be sure to give the medication in the proper manner so that it is delivered into the body in the most efficacious way for that particular patient, and their individual health history and illness.

Ideally, all five of these rights should be checked twice by the first staff member, and a third time by another qualified staff member in addition to the person actually administering the medication.

If you have suffered as a victim of a prescription medication error caused by a healthcare provider’s negligence or recklessness, you have the legal right to contact a medical malpractice attorney in order to file a prescription malpractice claim. Parties who could be held liable include not only nurses and physicians, but also facilities and drug companies.

R. Klettke is a freelance writer. He writes about personal injury and medical malpractice law and other matters of jurisprudence.

Important Advisory: This article is not intended to provide legal advice upon which you or anyone else should rely in making any decisions regarding the instituting or prosecuting of a legal claim. Laws and rules relating to the bringing of a claim vary widely from state to state. You should always contact a personal injury attorney to obtain information as to the rules and the laws pertaining to any claim you might have.

Over the past 40 years, the Law Offices of David Drexler has distinguished itself as one of the premier Personal Injury law firms in Los Angeles. We are a full-service law firm that handles virtually all Personal Injury claims. Our commitment to our clients, coupled with over 0 million recovered for our clients, has earned our firm an elite standing in the Southern California legal community.

Thank you for considering the Law Offices of David Drexler. Our Attorneys and legal team are friendly, warm and approachable. We will handle your case with the same care and commitment that has changed the lives of – and won justice for – thousands of our personal injury clients for over three decades.

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