When you visit a healthcare provider, you can often expect to receive medication. Whether you receive a prescription from your healthcare provider that you must pick up at the pharmacy or your healthcare provider administers medication during an emergency visit, you expect your healthcare provider to give you the correct medicine at the correct dose. Sadly, healthcare providers make mistakes. They can give the wrong medicine or the wrong dose. This can lead to serious harm.
You might be entitled to monetary damages if you suffered an injury because of a medication error. You should reach out to a competent personal injury attorney who can advocate for you. The knowledgeable attorneys at The Watson Firm, PLLC understand medication errors and medical malpractice. Call The Watson Firm, PLLC at 850-607-2929 or reach out online to connect with an attorney.
What Are Medication Errors?
Medication errors happen when healthcare providers give patients the wrong prescription, make an error in administering medication, or prescribe a medicine that is inappropriate for the patient. With due care, healthcare providers could avoid one hundred percent of medication errors. Indeed, the Mayo Clinic notes that medication errors are entirely preventable. They happen only when a healthcare provider or patient makes a mistake.
What Are Examples Of Medication Errors?
Medication errors may happen in a variety of ways. Here are some examples of medication errors.
- A healthcare provider gives you a prescription known to have an adverse interaction with another medicine you take.
- A healthcare provider gives you the wrong dose of a medicine.
- A healthcare provider confuses two similar-sounding medicines.
- You take the wrong dose of your medicine.
What Causes Medication Errors?
Generally, mistakes cause medication errors. Your healthcare provider may make a mistake. Alternatively, a lack of communication between you and your healthcare provider can cause you to make a mistake administering medicine to yourself at home. For instance, you may confuse a spoon with a tablespoon and give yourself the wrong dose of a medicine.
One of the leading causes of medication errors is poor communication—between you and your healthcare provider and between your healthcare provider and other medical professionals. Healthcare providers are more likely to make a medication error when two medicines sound alike or when they become confused about what abbreviations mean.
Further, children are particularly susceptible to medication errors. Often, children require smaller doses of medications than adults. Healthcare providers may forget to give children the appropriate dose, leading to medical complications.
Can You Sue Your Healthcare Provider For A Medication Error In Florida?
You might sue a healthcare provider for medical malpractice if your healthcare provider made a medication error that harmed you. You must show four elements to make a successful claim against your healthcare provider.
- First, you must show that your healthcare provider owed you a duty of care. The provider-patient relationship is enough to establish this.
- Second, you must show that your healthcare provider breached their duty of care to you when they acted negligently and made a medication error.
- Third, you must show that you suffered actual harm or injury.
- Fourth, you must show that the cause of your injury was the healthcare provider's mistake.
Let's look at an example. Suppose your doctor prescribed you the wrong medication. This medication interacted with another medication you were on, causing serious harm. Is your healthcare provider guilty of medical malpractice?
First, you know that your healthcare provider has a duty of care to you. Second, by making a medication error, your healthcare provider failed to act as a reasonable doctor would and breached their duty of care to you. Third, you suffered an actual injury. Fourth, the interaction between the two medicines caused your injury. So, in this example, your healthcare provider committed medical malpractice by making a medication error.
The fourth element—causation—can be the most challenging to prove. Your attorney can bring in expert medical witnesses to explain how your healthcare provider's medication mistake cause your injury.
Florida Medication Error Attorney
If your healthcare provider made a medication error, reach out to an adept personal injury attorney. The knowledgeable attorneys at The Watson Firm, PLLC understand medication errors and medical malpractice. Call The Watson Firm, PLLC at 850-607-2929 or reach out online to connect with an attorney.