One of the most important parts of seeking medical treatment involves obtaining the right medications. Medications are often the difference between getting well quickly and continuing to live with debilitating symptoms. In fact, failure to recognize medication-related errors can cost patients their lives. Unfortunately, this type of medical error happens every day and when it does, patients will need the help of a seasoned Pittsburgh medication error lawyer like Jason Matzus to hold the physician, pharmacist, or other medical professional responsible.
Several common types of medication errors occur. Mislabeling the medication or administering incorrect dosages to a patient can cause severe illness, injury, or death. Additional types of medication errors include:
Prescription medication errors can occur because a physician did not diagnose a patient correctly or failed to consider the risks of certain symptoms. In these cases, medication errors can lead to patient wrongful death.
Medication errors are more prevalent than most people think. Prescribing, filling and administering medications involves a chain of command, and if anyone makes a mistake in the chain, medications could be prescribed or administered improperly. Medication errors can stem from major mistakes like a misdiagnosis, or they could stem from something as simple as bad handwriting on a prescription. A nurse might accidentally put too much medication into an IV line, or a pharmacist might mislabel a bottle of pills. Even the correct medication can be deadly if administered in the wrong place. For example, if a nurse injects medication into the muscle when it was meant for the vein, severe consequences could occur. The nurse could then be held liable by a medication error lawyer in a lawsuit. Medications interact with each other, and sometimes these interactions have severely negative consequences. Patients should be vigilant in sharing their medical histories, but monitoring medication is primarily the medical team’s responsibility. Doctors and pharmacists should always be aware of patients’ allergies as well as current drugs they take that might interact with a new one. It is also the doctor and pharmacist’s job to keep up with patient records and advise patients about their medications. Failure to do so often results in medical malpractice lawsuits.
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