Tampa Medication Error Attorney
Holding doctors, nurses, pharmacists and hospitals accountable for medication errors that lead to injury
When it comes to medication, we place our trust in the hands of healthcare professionals, believing that their knowledge and diligence will ensure our safety and well-being.
But when mistakes are made in prescribing, dispensing or administering medication, the consequences can be severe and life-altering, leading to devastating health complications, prolonged suffering and, in extreme cases, death.
At Palmer Lopez, our Tampa medication error attorneys are acutely aware of the distress and challenges faced by victims of such mistakes. That’s why we’re committed to offering compassionate legal advice to help you navigate the complex legal and medical landscapes.
Our team strives not just for compensation but for justice and closure, allowing you to focus on healing and recovery.
If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury due to a medication error by a doctor, nurse or pharmacist, don’t wait to get the help you need.
The attorneys at Palmer Lopez specialize in representing victims of medical malpractice in Tampa.
What is a medication error?
A medication error in a hospital, pharmacy, nursing home or other healthcare setting is a preventable mistake that can lead to inappropriate medication use and patient harm. It can occur at any stage of the medication process, including prescribing, dispensing, administering or monitoring.
These errors often result from a failure of healthcare professionals to adhere to the traditional 5 “rights” of medication administration, which include:
- The right patient. Ensuring the medication is administered to the correct individual as per the prescription.
- The right medication. Verifying that the drug being given matches the medication prescribed for the patient.
- The right time. Administering the medication at the correct time intervals, as specified in the prescription.
- The right dose. Providing the exact amount of medication prescribed.
- The right route. Using the proper method of administration for the medication, such as oral, intravenous, or topical.
When healthcare providers fail to verify all of these 5 “rights” before administering medication, it frequently results in errors.
In fact, the Patient Safety Network, a government agency for healthcare research, estimates that the median medication error rate at hospitals and other long-term healthcare facilities is as high as 25%, with the median error rate of intravenous (IV) medications being even higher, up to 53%.
While these statistics are rather shocking, it’s important to note that the majority of these errors were due to drugs being administered at the wrong time (e.g., an hour late) and did not necessarily affect the health of the patient.
What are the most common types of medication errors?
Because medication administration is a complex process involving a multidisciplinary care team, mistakes can occur at various steps and involve multiple team members.
Below are some of the most common examples of medication errors made by doctors, nurses, pharmacists and hospitals:
- Prescription errors. Writing illegibly, writing incorrect dosages, or failing to consider patient allergies or interactions with other medications the patient is taking.
- Misdiagnosis. Prescribing medication for a wrongly diagnosed condition.
- Failure to consider patient history. Not reviewing a patient’s medical history for potential contraindications.
- Administration errors. Administering medication to the wrong patient or giving the wrong dosage at the wrong time or through the wrong route.
- Documentation errors. Failing to accurately record medication administration in patient records.
- Failure to monitor. Not monitoring patients for adverse reactions or effectiveness of medications.
- Misfilled prescriptions. Giving out the wrong medication or the wrong dosage to patients.
- Labeling errors. Providing incorrect instructions or labels on medication.
- Failure to counsel. Not advising patients on correct medication usage and potential side effects.
- Systemic errors. Failures in the hospital’s medication management system leading to mistakes in prescribing, transcribing or administering medications.
- Communication failures. Miscommunication between departments or professionals regarding patient medication.
- Lack of staff training. Not providing adequate training for staff on safe medication practices and protocols.
Regardless of the cause, if you were injured because of a healthcare provider’s medication error, you may be entitled to compensation.
The harmful effects of medication errors on patients
Medication errors aren’t just inconvenient mistakes; they can lead to various types of injuries and health complications that can have life-altering impacts, some of which include:
- Allergic reactions. Administering the wrong medication to a patient can cause allergic reactions, ranging from rashes and swelling to anaphylactic shock.
- Toxicity and overdose. Incorrect dosages, especially of potent drugs, can lead to toxicity or overdose, resulting in organ damage, neurological impairment, or even wrongful death.
- Adverse drug interactions. Failure to recognize harmful drug interactions can result in adverse effects that range from mild discomfort to life-threatening complications.
- Worsening medical condition. Administering the wrong medication or incorrect dosing can lead to the deterioration of the patient’s existing medical condition.
- Development of new health issues. Medication errors can cause new health problems unrelated to the patient’s original condition, such as liver or kidney damage due to drug toxicity.
- Physical and cognitive impairments. Some medication errors can lead to severe physical or cognitive impairments, such as loss of motor function, paralysis, brain damage and other catastrophic injuries.
- Psychological trauma. Experiencing a severe medication error can lead to psychological trauma, including anxiety, depression and loss of trust in healthcare providers.
- Delayed recovery. Incorrect or ineffective medication can delay the healing process, prolonging the patient’s recovery time.
- Birth defects and injuries. In pregnant patients, certain medication errors can lead to birth defects or cause issues with the mother that could lead to premature delivery and an increased likelihood of birth injuries.
- Dependency or withdrawal. Incorrect administration of addictive medications can lead to dependency, or conversely, sudden withdrawal can occur if a medication is abruptly stopped or incorrectly administered.
These injuries highlight the importance of meticulous care in medication management and the serious consequences that can arise from errors in this aspect of healthcare.
Concerned that you may have been injured by a medication error or a misfilled prescription in Tampa?
Let Palmer Lopez help you seek the answers and compensation you deserve. Consultations are always free, and you never pay unless we win.
When can I file a lawsuit for medication administration errors?
Not all medication errors in the hospital or another healthcare setting constitute medical malpractice or hospital negligence. To file a medical malpractice lawsuit for medication administration errors, you must be able to prove that the healthcare provider breached their “duty of care.”
Duty of care refers to the standard of care that a reasonably competent healthcare professional would provide under similar circumstances. This includes prescribing and dispensing the correct medication and dosage and administering it correctly and safely.
To establish a breach of duty of care, you must demonstrate that the healthcare provider acted negligently or failed to act as a reasonably skilled professional would have, leading to a medication error. This could involve ordering the incorrect dosage, administering the wrong medication, or failing to advise the patient about harmful drug interactions.
Proving a breach of duty of care typically requires expert testimony from medical professionals in the same field, who can testify to what a competent healthcare provider would have done in the same situation. They would assess whether the standard of care was met and whether the provider’s action or inaction was within the bounds of what is considered acceptable medical practice.
If it can be proven that a healthcare provider owed you a duty of care, failed in that duty, and you suffered direct harm as a result of that failure, you may be entitled to compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Because the process of proving fault after a medication error can be complicated, requiring expertise in both medical and legal fields, it’s essential to consult an attorney experienced in navigating the intricacies of medical malpractice claims to ensure your best chance at success.
Get help from the experienced Tampa medication error attorneys at Palmer Lopez
If you believe a healthcare provider’s mistake led to a medication error injury for you or a loved one, it’s crucial to get expert legal guidance.
At Palmer Lopez, our skilled Tampa medical malpractice attorneys understand the complexities of these cases and can help you navigate the legal process. Contact us today for a free evaluation of your case, and learn how we can advocate for your rights and hold responsible parties accountable.
Don’t face this challenging time alone; let Palmer Lopez be your trusted ally in seeking the justice and compensation you deserve.