Medication is an important part of recovery for those that have just had medical treatment, or are suffering from certain conditions or injuries. However, medications contain chemicals that affect a person’s brain and bodily functions. When they are prescribed the wrong medication, the wrong dosage of medication, or any other error is made, it is extremely dangerous. Many people don’t realize that this is a type of medical malpractice, but it is. As such, when people are injured or become sick from a medication error, they can file a claim against the negligent doctors or healthcare professional that made the error.
Factors Healthcare Professionals Must Consider
Before prescribing or administering medication, there are several things healthcare professionals must consider. They include:
- An evaluation of the patient’s overall health, including their medical history
- The benefits and risks of the medication for the patient
- Any interactions a drug may have with medication the patient is already taking
- The side effects or symptoms of the medication they are prescribing or administering
When healthcare professionals fail to take these factors into consideration, it is considered negligence and can lead to serious harm to the patient.
Common Medication Errors
When people think of medication errors, they often think of healthcare professionals prescribing the wrong medication to the wrong patient. While this is certainly a major medication error, there are others as well. They include:
- Prescribing or administering the wrong dosage of medication
- Neglecting to take the patient’s medical history in account when prescribing or administering medication
- Failing to inform the patient of possible risks or side effects
- Failing to administer a drug a patient needs
- Administering medication outside of the appropriate timelines, such as when one must wait four to six hours before taking a drug again
- Failing to monitor a patient after they begin taking a certain medication
When these medication errors are made, they are extremely harmful, and sometimes fatal, to patients.
Reactions and Effects of Medication Errors
When a person is the victim of a medication error, there are a number of harmful reactions and effects they may suffer. The most common of these include:
- Allergic reactions
- Internal bleeding
- Dangerously high blood pressure
- Dangerously fast heartbeat
- Difficulty breathing
- Brain damage
- Addiction to drugs and certain substances
- Distorted thinking
- Depression, anxiety, or thoughts of suicide
- Coma, or loss of consciousness
- Heart failure or stroke
All of these reactions and effects can have long-lasting impacts for the patient. Sometimes, their life is never the same again. When this happens, they are often able to seek compensation for the error that was made.
Call a Philadelphia and Allentown Medical Malpractice Attorney when You Suffer from a Medication Error
If you have been prescribed the wrong medication, or have been the victim of any type of medication error, you must speak to a Philadelphia and Allentown personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. At van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim, we know these errors should never occur. When they do, we will work diligently to hold responsible parties liable, and get you any compensation you deserve. Call us today at 215-515-6892 or contact us online so we can begin discussing your case.