Medication Errors

Administering the wrong medication to a patient is one of the leading types of medical negligence that causes serious injury and illness. It has been reported that in 2002, approximately 100,000 people were given the wrong medication from a medical professional. Seven thousand people were killed because they were given the wrong medication. Wrong medicine administration is one of the best tracked medical errors and can occur in hospitals, pharmacies, nursing homes, and in home care.

Wrong medication medical negligence can be the result of many mistakes. First, simply the wrong medication was administered. Secondly, an improper dosage of the correct medicine may have been prescribed or given. The wrong medication may be given to a person with drug allergies, someone who is taking other medications that cause adverse reaction when combined, or someone with special health considerations (i.e. liver and kidney problems) that may be affected by this wrong medication. Wrong medication can also be the cause of medical problems that, if not recognized, may be improperly treated.

Children and infants are particularly at risk for health problems resulting from wrong medication administration. Children who are given the wrong medication do not have the immune systems or the chemical tolerance to handle wrong medication as well as adults. Medication dosages are particularly important in drug administration to children because of specific age and weight factors. It is estimated that one in every eighteen prescriptions that are written for children are the wrong medication or dosage. Because of weight and age requirements, overdose is more likely in children who are given the wrong medication than in adults.

Nurses follow the "Five Rs" in medication administration as part of their standard of care responsibilities. These include: 1) the Right medication to 2) the Right Patient in 3) the Right dose by 4) the Right route at 5) the Right time. If any one of the 5 Rs is improperly followed then an injury may occur. When that happens, medical malpractice may have occurred.

Studies show that nine out of ten cases of wrong medication administration can be easily avoided when proper medical precautions are taken. If you or someone you love suspects or has knowledge that they have received the wrong medication from a health care professional, you may be eligible to seek compensation for your illness or injury. A wrong medication medical malpractice victim has the right to seek compensation for medical expenses, loss of wages, disability, and pain and suffering . To find out about your rights and options in a wrong medication case, please contact us to confer with a qualified medical malpractice attorney.

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