Every year, about 1.5 million people are injured by medication errors; thousands die. Medical malpractice cases are very complex, requiring extensive knowledge of both the medical and legal issues. It can be difficult to determine that harm was caused by a medical error or negligence; discussing the situation with Medical Malpractice Attorneys Davie FL would be helpful.
Patients can be Given the Wrong Drugs in the Hospital
Many medication errors are made in hospitals; errors are possible at any point in the drug administration chain. These scenarios actually happened.
Scenario 1: A patient is intubated and receiving some medications through his tube. One of his medications is an extended-release calcium channel blocker. The nurse is rushed, crushes the pill and gives it to the patient in his tube, not noticing the “Do not Crush” warning in the administration record. An hour later, the patient dies.
Scenario 2: A twelve year old boy with seizures is prescribed primidone, but the pharmacist reads the handwritten prescription as prednisone. After four months of taking prednisone in addition to seizure medications, the boy develops steroid-induced diabetes. The diabetes is not diagnosed or treated, and he dies.
Scenario 3: A baby received ten times as much morphine as he should have because of a decimal point error. Instead of .5 mg, the dosage was read as 5 mg, or ten times too much.
Protecting Yourself from Medication Errors
In the hospital:
- Know the names of all the medications you currently take and bring a list with you;
- If given the same drug you take at home, and it doesn’t look the same, don’t take it until someone double-checks;
- If you aren’t able to speak for yourself, have a friend or family member stay to help you.
- Get involved in your own health care; speak up and ask questions.
- Make sure that doctors know about all medications you’re taking, including vitamins and supplements; medication interactions can be serious;
- Ask about label directions; does “4 times daily” mean every 6 hours or 4 times during waking hours?
- Always check the bags before leaving the pharmacy. Is it the right pill?
The Law Offices of McCullough & Leboff, P.A. handle only personal injury cases, including medical malpractice. With over 25 years of combined experience, these Medical Malpractice Attorneys Davie FL give their personal attention and commitment to every client. Call their Miami or Ft. Lauderdale office to schedule a free consultation.