Although many forms of medical malpractice can lead to devastating injuries and complications for a patient, one of the least talked about aspects of medical malpractice is medication errors.
When you take a medication you rely on your doctor’s decision to give you that medication and you rely on the pharmacy to fulfill it properly.
A 2013 research article, however, indicated that the death toll associated with medication errors falls somewhere between 210,000 and 440,000 people every year.
Medication errors can cause you to take an unsafe medication, take a dosage of a medication not designed for you, or to take a medication that has serious side effects that clash with existing medical conditions or prescriptions you’re already taking.
A doctor should always evaluate your current condition and make a clear recommendation for medication.
If you suspect that something is wrong or if you continue to have issues after taking the medicine, it’s time to revisit your doctor’s office. You may even have grounds for a medical malpractice case depending on your situation.
Medication Errors Are Costly and Devastating for Patients
A 2012 study documented that this comes at significant costs to the American economy, keeping costs as high as $1 trillion annually in lost human contributions and potential.
The study’s researchers analyze life years to determine the economic aspect when someone dies as a result of a preventable error.
Preventing Medication Errors
Research from projects like this show that the frequency of medication error reporting could be improved significantly.
Staff must be properly educated about reporting and receive feedback as soon as possible from the report submitted.
The process of reporting errors also needs to be made much easier so that staff members and relevant stakeholders can report problems sooner than later.
There are several different barriers currently impacting the inability to improve medication error reporting. These include:
- Confusing report forms
- Concerns about telling on someone else
- Perceived severity of the medication error
- Extra time required in reporting
The bottom line is that it is the patient who ultimately pays the price when a medication error mistake has been made.
Staff members who overlook this and realize that a mistake has been made but do not tell the patient about it could be putting that patient at serious risk. Patients often rely on their doctor’s advice and expertise when being prescribed and taking medication.
This means that every dosage period that goes by without the patient being informed of the mistake, he or she is at risk for more critical injuries.
You might not realize that you have suffered injuries associated with a medication error until days or weeks after it has happened.
As soon as you believe there is a problem with your medication or if you believe that a doctor has improperly prescribed you something, you need to consult with a Florida medical malpractice attorney immediately.
What to Do If You’ve Been a Victim
Medication mistakes are not minor and should always be taken seriously. They can have significant repercussions on your life and generate a range of complications and costly medical expenses.
In order to best protect yourself, you need to have a consultation with a Florida medical malpractice attorney in Jacksonville as soon as possible after the medication mistake has happened.
You want to discontinue the use of the medicine and get a second medical opinion as well but an attorney can help you determine whether or not the legal elements of a medical malpractice claim are there.
A discussion with an attorney can give you a broad overview of what to expect if you decide to move forward with a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Talk to an expert Jacksonville Medical Malpractice Attorney Today
An attorney’s insight can be extremely valuable during this time when you might be receiving competing messages and being pressured by the doctor or hospital facility not to raise concerns about the medication error.
The reality is that doctors should always give you their highest level of professionalism and attention when prescribing your medication.
When this doesn’t happen, however, and you sustain injuries as a result of a medication error, you may have grounds to file a Jacksonville medical malpractice lawsuit.
What constitutes a personal injury?
The most common personal injury is an auto accident, but the broad definition encompasses any situation where a person suffers harm due to the negligence of another person or entity. Early identification of a personal injury is important to the legal process. Many serious injuries occur each year involving:
– Auto accidents
– Premises liability accidents such as injuries caused by a slip and fall
– Medical malpractice/nursing home injuries
– Wrongful death
– Work-related accidents
– Animal attacks
– Faulty or malfunctioning products (product liability)