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Medical Malpractice: Medication Errors

By Alpert Schreyer on April 12, 2019

Medical Malpractice Medication ErrorsMedication errors are one of the most common forms of medical malpractice. Medication errors harm an estimated 1.5 million people per year. This is a staggering number of patients who have suffered serious injury as the result of a medical professional’s failure to adhere to the duty of care.

Common Medication Errors

Medication errors can occur at any step in the process, from the prescribing of the medication to the administration of the medication. The incorrect medication can be prescribed in the first place or there could be a miscommunication somewhere along the line between when the medication was prescribed and when it was administered. Common medication errors include:

  • Improper prescription of medication based on drug interactions
  • Failing to take an adequate patient history
  • Incorrectly written medication prescription—wrong drug name or wrong dosage
  • Administering the wrong dosage of a medication
  • Administering the incorrect medication
  • Administering medication at an incorrect time
  • Failure to check for medication allergies
  • Improper monitoring after medication administration
  • Inappropriately prescribing medication for an off-label purpose
  • Using the incorrect route of administration
  • Failing to give a patient the proper directions for taking the medication
  • Failing to inform a patient of the potential risks involved in taking the medication

The most common medication error is giving the incorrect dosage, which according to the FDA, makes up approximately 41% of fatal errors. Giving the incorrect medication and using the wrong route of administration were the second and third most common errors. Any of these errors can constitute medical malpractice if there has been an injury to the patient as a result of the error.

Causes of Medication Errors

Medication errors can have a number of different origins. From mislabeling by the manufacturer to a prescriber’s misinformation or lack of training, anything can happen. Some common causes of medication errors include:

  • Poor communication among staff
  • Ambiguities in product names and directions
  • Poor handwriting
  • Misuse of medical abbreviations
  • Poor procedures or techniques

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

If you’ve been injured by a medical error, you should have an experienced personal injury attorney evaluate your case. Contact the lawyers at Alpert Schreyer, LLC online or call us at 844-632-7274 for a free consultation.

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Date published: 09/06/2018
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